Category Archives: Cocktails

Advent calendar, week 2

For more Advent calendar treats, see week 1!

December 13th

This week’s recipe is not a cocktail recipe per se, but a recipe for a home made syrup you can use for cocktails. Making a home made syrup for cocktail use is quite simple, and can enhance the appeal of even the simplest party punch. The recipe we’re giving away today is one that has a very wintery flavor and goes well with either hot or cold drinks. So here we go, a honey-cardamom syrup for Christmasy cocktails.

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4 cups water
2 cups honey
20-30 green cardamom pods
10 juniper berries
2 tbsp brown sugar

Bring the water to a boil in a sauce pan and add the cardamom and juniper berries, crushed. Let the flavors infuse for about five minutes. Bring the heat down, add the honey and sugar, and let simmer until you have about 2/3 of the liquid left. Strain through a tea sieve to your chosen container. Let the syrup cool and enjoy!

If you’re making cold drinks, try this syrup with recipes that usually call for honey syrup, such as Bee’s Knees or Gold Rush. Here we did a variation on Gold Rush, adding italian amaro and just a little creme de cassis to the original bourbon, lime and honey.

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For a hot toddy, try combining a strong, brown spirit with a fortified wine or dessert wine. If you’re using a dry sherry, try to pair it with a sweeter rum or Metaxa. If you have some vermouth lying around, spike it up with cognac. We used Sauternes wine and grappa, since both share the taste of raisin and make a beautiful pair. A dash of bitters can go a long way, chamomile and of course cardamom work well!


December 12th

Last year we did a show called Kammerkabarett. For that show we made a handful of video projections, which we haven’t had a chance of using on gigs since. There’s one that we’d especially like share with you, Sweethearts! It’s our humble homage to both Méliès and Devant, a vision of the great Mascot Moth illusion. Complete with a short “making of” intro, s’il vous plaît!

 

December 11th

We have a very special Christmas playlist, which we keep adding songs to every year. It consists of many French chants de Noël, Spanish villancicos, and other Christmasy stuff, like Bela Fleck‘s banjo version of The Twelve days of Christmas – in 12 different keys and with 12 different time signatures. And of course, no playlist is complete wihtout a Tom Waits song! So take a listen, Sweethearts, and Merry Christmas!

 

December 10th

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Here’s a little Christmas e-card we made for you, Sweethearts! And we even made a version with sound, too! Remember your loved ones, send them a card!

 

December 9th

 

Often our live shows are accompanied by our muse, Noora Palotie. She’s a wonderful, warm hearted person, and an amazing performer. She’s done everything from burlesque to theatre to aerial acrobatics with us on stage, and everything she does, she does with uncommon conviction and grace.
Here’s a clip we found from the ‘Is This Casablanca?’ record release party. The inspiration to this particular coreography came from watching the dance scenes in Gilda in slow motion. Noora absolutely kills this one, complete with the single-glove striptease!

December 8th

Laura has been an avid audiobook listener for some time, and for the start of a new Advent week would like to share a few favourites from the Librivox catalogue! Librivox.org is a wonderful project full of free audiobooks, all in the public domain and read by volunteers from around the world.  These make an entertaining listen for those sleepless nights, slow hours at the gym or tedious moments on the train.

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Jane Austen: Emma
(read by Elizabeth Klett)

A recent article on the Guardian tells us how this novel changed the face of fiction. Pay heed, and hear it out! I have to say I never really got into Jane Austen until I heard her novels narrated by Elizabeth Klett, and Emma is my absolute favourite with its ironic portrayal of the name character. Klett’s reading subtly highlights the humour and brings out all the nuances of Austen’s mature masterpiece.

Red_House_Mystery_1006A. A. Milne: The Red House Mystery
(read by Kristin Hughes)

The author of Winnie-the-Pooh was full of surprises: Milne was a noted playwright and short story writer before the huge success of Pooh overshadowed all his previous work. In 1922 he wrote one of the most impressive “locked room”-mysteries of the Golden Age of detective fiction. Enjoy the cleverness and the deductive beauty of The Red House Mystery in this delightful reading by Kristin Hughes.

Jungle_Book_1003Rudyard Kipling: The Jungle Book
(read by Meredith Hughes)

If you’ve never read The Jungle Book, you’re in for a surprise: The Kipling original is nothing like the jazzy Disney movie, but presents a haunting and often sad set of stories and songs that just might take you back to your real childhood, instead of the imaginary one. It’s a good place to visit though, especially when narrated by the lovely childlike voice of Meredith Hughes.

Human_Machine_1210Arnold Bennett: The Human Machine
(read by Ruth Golding)

Ruth Golding has a wonderfully soothing voice, and I’ve greatly enjoyed both her version of Wuthering Heights and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. This essay of Arnold Bennett sounds like tremendous fun: “I am simply bent on calling your attention to a fact which has perhaps wholly or partially escaped you — namely, that you are the most fascinating bit of machinery that ever was.” Sold!

 

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Advent calendar, week 1

December 7th

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To conclude the first week of the advent calendar, here’s a recipe to a drink that was thrown together for our Independence Day after party No. 1 (Yes, we had another afterparty much, much later on!). It’s customary in Finland to gather around with friends and tune in on the Presidential Independence Day Ball, or Linnanjuhlat, as it is known in Finnish. It is a party that collects together a respectable amount of people, from popular entertainers, distinguished academics and athletes to politicians, military figures and WWII veterans. We had a friend over, who was looking forward to spending the Independence Day with his parents, only to find out two days before that his parents were actually attending the Presidential Ball. So, after our gig at the HKTY, we sat down to watch the Ball on TV, and we whipped up this surprisingly Mediterranean drink. Let’s call it

♦The Afterparty No. 1♦

1 tbsp of rowanberry jam
Juice of ½ lemon
25 ml of Larios 12 Botanicals Gin
10 ml of Grand Marnier
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
2 dashes of grapefruit bitters
A twig of rosemary

Shake all ingredients well, and strain in to a cocktail glass. Garnish with a twig of Rosemary. Double straining is recommended, but this is an afterparty drink, after all.

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Made as such, the rowanberry jam makes the drink’s consistency lusciously thick. The Larios 12 has in it, apart from all the other spices, lime, orange, orange blossom, lemon, tangerine, mandarin, clementine and grapefruit. Together with Grand Marnier and grapefruit bitters, this drink has in it almost everything from the citrus family. The rosemary highlights the bright notes of the citrusy flavours, and Grand Marnier brings out the more mellow tangerines, clementines and mandarins.

Consider substituting the gin, since even without the Larios 12 the recipe still has a good amount of citruses in it. For the true Finnish Independence Day feel use Napue Gin, by the very Finnish Kyrö Distillery Company.

December 6th

It’s Finnish Independence Day! We played some music at the party at Helsingin Käsityö- ja Teollisuusyhdistys, and had a lovely time! Here’s just a quick video to say hi!

 

December 5th

More Film Noir inspiration, this time it’s all about hair! For the classic 1940’s look, nothing is more essential: Sure, the defined eyebrows and a popping red lipstick go a long way towards vintage glamour, but without the hairdos and the talented hairdressers behind them, Rita Hayworth’s first scene in Gilda would have a lot less of the nonchalant charm that so defines the character. Besides, what would happen to Lauren Bacall’s “The Look” without that wavy hair under which to glare?

This is why, for the 5th of November, we have put together a Pinterest board full of Noir hair inspiration for all lengths and styles! There are even a few vintage tutorials you can try for one of the parties of the festive season: There is nothing better than a wavy hairdo to help you channel the great icons of our century!

I have sported big waves à la Hayworth before, for example on our album cover, but for the intimate evenings I like a more demure, Bacallesque style. Before our Film Noir gigs in Pastis, I always go to TS-Salonki for my hairdo in the morning. We use heated rollers instead of pincurls, as my hair is super thick and I have to make it to the soundcheck in the afternoon. When the hair is set, I just wrap my hair in a silk scarf which I only take off just before the concert. Here are some selfies from different evenings of the fall (also check out Saara’s new haircolor and cut!):

December 4th

And here’s our shot at Why Don’t You Do Right, Jessica Rabbit style. This is the first rehearsal take with the whole band, from way back in September. Saara actually downtunes the C string on the cello, to get some of that upright bass feel to the song.


December 3rd

Hoagy, Bogey and Bacall. Film Noir. Jazz.

 

For the past four months we’ve been doing a Film Noir themed Show & Dinner set at Restaurant Pastis in Helsinki, and we’ve listened to a lot of songs from a lot of movies. So behind the third door of our Advent Calendar lies a playlist of some our favourite Film Noir songs.

A few interesting notes. In the “Rita Hayworth” songs Amado Mio, Put The Blame On Mame and Please, Don’t Kiss Me, the singing voice is actually that of Anita Ellis, an American singer and actress. The people at Columbia Pictures needed to turn Rita Hayworth in to an icon, and while her husky, deep voice was perfect for acting, her singing was always overdubbed. In fact, the only song Rita ever sang for herself on screen was the solo guitar version of ‘Mame‘ in Gilda. All three songs were also written by Dorothy Fisher, one of the very few female songwriters of Golden Age Hollywood.

Hoagy Carmichael is known to many as a prominent songwriter and a marvelous performer. In the later 1930s he was even hired by Paramount Pictures for a whopping 1000$ a week. He also played Sam in the TV production of Casablanca in the 1950s. Did you know, that Ian Fleming has said James Bond would look like Hoagy Carmichael, only with a scar over his face?

David Raksin‘s instrumental song Laura, from the movie Laura (1944), became so popular that Johnny Mercer was asked to write lyrics to it, and 5 different recorded versions emerged in 1945 alone. It has since become a standard with more than 400 known recordings, by Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Julie London among others. The song is also heavily referenced to in the movie – the score is almost completely comprised of the theme, the song plays on a phonograph, a band plays the song in a restaurant scene, it is heard as background music in a party, and the song is even on in the radio – at which point Vincent Price‘s character tells us it’s “one of Laura’s favourites.”

The song Why Don’t You Do Right was originally written in 1936 by Joseph McCoy for Harlem Hamfats, and was called The Weed Smoker’s Dream. Lil Green made a recording of the song with new lyrics and a refined melody. Peggy Lee, a big fan of Ms. Green’s work, made the revised version of the song famous after Benny Goodman heard her listening to it on a record over and over again, and offered to arrange it for her to sing. Hugh Laurie recorded a version of the original Weed Smoker’s Dream with Gaby Moreno on vocals in 2013.

 

December 2nd

On the Second day of Christmas my true love sent to me two turtle doves gold bugs.

The Kissel Speedster, commonly known as Goldbug, was produced from 1919 through 1927, and during that time it was a very popular car among the celebrities. Jack Dempsey drove one, Douglas Fairbanks drove one, Greta Garbo drove one, Mary Pickford drove one. Even Amelia Earhart drove one. It was also featured in quite a few movies, and our favourite scene is in the short film Jonah Jones (1924). Apart from the car, we adore Dorothy Seastrom in the role of Margaret Morgan.

The below rendition of the Gold Bug is Jere’s handiwork, designed for an animated music video. We’ll tell you more about that in the future.

 

 

December 1st

So, Jere & Laura went to this wedding this summer. In the capacity of the Best Man, Jere also designed the cocktails for the reception, and so many Last Words were had at this particular party! The newlywed couple surprised us all by getting the absolutely amazing Atelieri O. Haapala to make sure the Steampunk themed event was properly documented for generations to come!

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January Cocktail: Two Divas and a Play

We’ve reached Epiphany, in Finnish called ‘Loppiainen’, which traditionally ends the Christmas time and is a public holiday. In contemporary thought, by Loppiainen you should really have run through the Christmas leftovers, and started concentrating on those ‘new year, new life’ resolutions. We don’t make those. But we have had an excess of about everything during the holidays, so January’s cocktail recipe is based on what is reputed to have been the favorite digestif and cure-all of both the Queen Mother and Queen Elizabeth II.

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Recently Laura and I have been stocking our personal bar with fun stuff,  eau-de-vie de poire being among the lot. We’ve also been experimenting with Dubonnet, trying it out in the Bijou, the Negroni and such. We also tried the classic Dubonnet Cocktail, or Zaza, as it is also known. Although it was the favorite daily tonic for a few queens, and while gin does mix with anything, Zaza, in our humble opinion, leaves something to wish for. A Bentley, for example, when using good Calva works better.

Searching for more recipes for Dubonnet, I stumbled upon a rather strange version of the Diabola on the web page of a known Swedish vodka brand. This version had gin, Dubonnet and Pear eau-de-vie (see where this is going?). I call the Swedish version strange, because the Diabola, as it appears in Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book calls for gin, Dubonnet and orgeat syrup. Now neither one of these sound like they have anything to do with the Devil. The latter, possibly originally made with Old Tom or Genever, is probably very sweet and perhaps more angelic than diabolic.

I was intrigued, however, by the idea of mixing Dubonnet and the pear brandy. I was also fixated on the name the creator had chosen for the drink. For the while I thought I was making a Diabola with a twist. I wanted to add something to the mix that would make it more devilish in taste.

So I went through our bitters and our spices, and thought of introducing chili in to the mix, but luckily decided against it. I also discarded bitters, since I didn’t really want to introduce more flavors or destroy the balance between the pear and dubonnet – I rather wanted to find something to tie them together. I was getting the feeling that I was looking for something specific – I could almost taste it, but couldn’t quite grasp what it was. That is, until I picked up an empty bag of allspice. I knew I wanted to use pepper. But black pepper would be too strong, white would not work either, and rosepepper would introduce too much flavor. At last I picked up a bag of green peppers, the one variety I have the least experience of. The aroma was rich but not overpowering, and the taste was rather fine, almost non-existent.

As I started making the drink, I realised I was not making a Diabola at all – losing the orgeat syrup kind of takes us back to Zaza. So, while making this seasoned Zaza, I started wondering about the name Zaza (I was having a very name oriented day!) and it’s possible origins. What I discovered was two American actresses and one play. The actresses were Mrs. Leslie Carter, known as the ‘Sarah Bernhardt of the US‘, and Claudette Colbert, once the highest paid actress in Hollywood and the leading lady of Paramount for two decades. And the play? Zaza, a story of a prostitute who becomes a music hall entertainer and the mistress of a married man. The play was written in 1890s by the French playwrights Pierre Berton and Jules Simon, and made in to an opera by Ruggero Leoncavallo two years later.

At this point I knew I was absolutely making a Zaza, in homage to the ladies Carter, Colbert and Zaza and the music halls and cabarets of Paris.

♦Pear’n’Pepper Zaza♦

1 part gin (Laura prefers Seagram’s)
2 parts Dubonnet Rouge
A generous dash of G.E. Massenez Poire Williams
Crushed green pepper pods

Place a few uncrushed pepper pods at the bottom of a chilled coupé glass. Stir the drink with ice and strain in to the glass.

Don’t bother double straining – the few crushed peppers that might end up in the glass just add to the taste. Also, don’t overdo the pepper – you want to create a strong spicy scent, but you don’t want the drink to become unpleasantly ‘hot’ or peppery.

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November Cocktail: Hindenburg cocktail, or Pauline’s cherry lips

Here is our cock-tale for November. Follow the links to the story, or if you’re impatient,  just skip to the recipe and pictures below.

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Not the Hindenburg actually, but Graf Zeppelin, hovering over our home city Helsinki in 1930, unable to land due to weather conditions.

As a bartender, I would never want to be in the situation in which Max Schulze found himself during the maiden voyage of the Zeppelin Hindenburg – you see, his bar ran out of Gin. While Max was most probably cursing the American passengers who seemed never to have heard of “rationing”, Pauline Charteris came up, true to the fashion of American alc… cocktail aficionados, with an alternate solution. She’d tasted some Kirschwasser on her trip to Germany, and found it somewhat more agreeable than the cheap American gins of the Prohibition*. “Why not substitute Kirsch for Gin”, said Pauline to her hubby. To which his husband replied, “Really now, darling? That’s as absurd as The Saint going to appear in moving pictures.”

The original recipe of Pauline’s Kirschwasser cocktail is now lost to history, along with many of the other recipes from the Hindenburg. As a given, the concoction, designed specifically to replace dry martini on board, probably had Kirschwasser and Vermouth in it. The rest is up to imagination. The German opus “Der Mixologist” by Carl A. Seutter gives a recipe for the Imperial Cocktail (gin, dry vermouth, maraschino) with no gin, but with a few dashes of absinthe included. The Imperial Cocktail has no Kirsch in it, though, and there’s no saying if Schultze was actually familiar with Seutters’ book.

At first, we intended to do a serious historical study, but in the end we discarded this idea – for a better one. Airships.net has made a very reasonable version of Charteris’ drink, calling for only kirsch, vermouth and a dash of grenadine for sweetness. On board the aircraft, with a limited supply, the drink might have been quite as simple as that. But maybe, just maybe, after the voyage Max Schultze went home, and decided there’s more to be had from Pauline’s suggestion**. Maybe he mixed the idea of a Kirsch Martini with a recipe he remembered reading a decade back in a German cocktail book? And maybe while sipping this new cocktail he reminisced on a brief brushing together of lips one night at the Hindenburg’s bar…

And that is where we stop with counterfactual history and get back to the present day. Some time ago, not quite happy with any of the commercially produced orange bitters,  Jere made a batch of his own ***, and of course, the difference is like night and day. We wanted to create a recipe to which we could incorporate the self-made bitters, and as we’d been playing around with the idea of the Hindenburg drink, we decided to combine the two. We completely discarded the “dry martini” approach, and tried to find out what would really go well together with the Kirsch. Here’s what we came up with; enjoy.

P.s. For this recipe and many other things, we’d like to thank Dan Grossman, an American aviation specialist – check out his wonderful site about the Hindenburg and Zeppelins in general. Thanks Dan, you’re super and we hope you get to read this!

♦Pauline’s Cherry Lips♦

A jigger (50 ml) of Kirschwasser
A barspoon of dry Vermouth
2 barspoons each of Absinthe and Maraschino liqueur
A dash of orange bitters
Two dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
Maraschino cherry or lemon peel for garnish

Stir and strain in to a cocktail glass.

There are a few things to consider with this drink:
1.) There is a great difference between using lemon peel or cherry for garnish. Both are to be placed in the glass, and the maraschino cherry must not be rinsed.
2.) You could substitute the Maraschino liqueur for Maraschino syrup, in which case definitely use lemon peel for garnish and only one spoonful of maraschino syrup.
3.) If using a less aromatic type of orange bitters, consider two to three dashes. The two dashes of Peychaud’s highlight the absinthe, but also give the drink a beautiful cherry hue.

*In fact, by 1936 many brands had already opened distilleries in the US.

**After about a month of making the drink for the first time, and a few days from writing this post I found out about the Tuxedo Cocktail No.2, featured in the Savoy Cocktail Book. Ironically, the Tuxedo No.2 is very much like Pauline, but instead of Kirsch it has Gin (and no Peychaud’s). There is also the Turf Club Cocktail in the Savoy book, and the difference is that Tuxedo uses London dry gin, whereas the Turf Club calls for Plymouth gin and a few dashes more of absinthe and maraschino. It’s possible that Schulze knew either of these recipes, and made use of them with the Kirschwasser cocktail.

***There is no exact recipe for the orange bitters I made. The most notable features are, that counter to common practice I used no gentian root or extract but there’s some dried sage in it, there’s the peel of about one lemon to three of oranges, and the base spirit is not clear grain alcohol but overproof rum. The choice of spices makes it more an amalgam of aromatic and orange bitters, with a pronounced “bottom”, due to use of rum, a bit of cinnamon and the sage. During the holidays I’ll make another batch and fine tune the recipe. -Jere

(back to text)

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September Cocktail: Cynara!

As the days grow short and the nights grow cold, thoughts turn inwards and backwards. This is the time for silent contemplation rather than rowdy merrymaking – and an excellent time for reading poetry. Our cocktail of the month is a warm, spicy blend of Mediterranean delicacies, perfect for those quiet evenings and secret tête-à-têtes. It is inspired by our song Cynara! which is inspired by Ernest Dowson’s poem “Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae”, which in turn borrows its title from Horace’s Odes.

In other words, here’s a healthy dose of intertextual merriment in a glass! If you’re looking for something to impress the ladies with, look no further. If you’re a real Casanova, you memorise the final stanza of Dowson’s poem and deliver it with suitable panache. We guarantee that the night is thine.

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Cynara! ♦

4  parts Samos Nectar*
1  part Brandy
5 parts Hot water
4 Cloves
Orange peel, freshly grated/cut
Grated nutmeg  

Heat the wine and the brandy with the water, but do not bring to a boil. Add the cloves and the orange peel to a wine glass. Pour on the heated wine mixture and the and grate a little nutmeg on top. Summon all the memories of your lost loves. Read the letter you never sent. Cry for madder music, for you have stronger wine.

*(You can use any white dessert wine, such as Sauternes or Tokaji. We tend to stick to Samos Nectar for the sheer joy of quoting Lord Byron as we toast: “Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!” is a line that simply cannot be yelled too often.)

I stumbled upon an excellent introduction to Dowson’s original poem in the Guardian, explaining the connection between Horace’s line and Dowson’s ode to lovesickness. Do read it, and the poem below it, as you’re waiting for your ingredients to heat. Then listen to our song here:

There are many similarities and direct Dowson quotes in Cynara!, but the woman answering the “faithful” lover is not the pale, lost lily the poet remembers. Dowson seems to suggest that Cynara has died an early death, but I pictured a Cynara more advanced in years, contemplating the wound that has bound the poet and the muse together in spite of time and distance.

Cynara!

Do not resort to stronger wine, my love
Under my reign superbly you shall bloom
You may well refuse,
But should you refuse
Then what is it you’re proving, and to whom?

The orbits do their dance, and here we are
The music stops, the dawn is gray again
Insufferably close
Insufferably far
I never was so hungry for the pain.

How could you say that you loved me
When you were my fate
And how could I say that you’ve hurt me
When I was your fatal flaw?

Are you and I as worthless as before,
All charm, and talk, and pride, and sleight of hand?
Our new loves are faint
All sweet, mild restraint
But ours has fetters neither can withstand.

So marry and make merry as you please
Be faithful in your fashion, your design
But when lamps expire,
Oh, when lamps expire,
This prickly thistle sings, the night is mine!

How could you say that you loved me
When you were my fate
And how could I say that you’ve hurt me
When I was your fatal flaw?

– Laura

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July Cocktail Recipe: Les passions de l’Âme

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Here is our cock-tale for July. Follow the links to the story, or if you’re impatient,  just skip to the recipe and pictures below.


Passions of the Soul

Most of our readers probably know the late bloomer of a renaissance man, René Descartes. The 17th century philosopher, mathematician and natural scientist is credited for opening the door for both modern mathematics and modern philosophy, and is known to have dabbled enough in optics to come up with the law of reflection. Our cocktail for July is curiously enough named after one of his treatises, and carries some Cartesian qualities.
– – – – –
Descartes was a rationalist, thinking that nothing could be known from senses alone, without the use of reason. He carried this thought over to his moral philosophy, arguing that virtue consists of the correct reasoning over our actions.
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A teaspoon of juniper berries
Half a measure of gin

The correct reasoning depends on knowledge, and judgement of knowledge on mental condition. The mind controls the body, but the body could affect the mind – thus the correct reasoning depends not only on the condition of the mind, but of the body as well. Mind you, this was a novel idea in Descartes’ time.

One fourth of a measure of green Chartreuse

Descartes was not without doubt, however. He is known to have professed so-called methodological skepticism, that is doubting everything until arriving at something undeniably certain. This is how he arrives to the conclusion “cogito, ergo sum – I think, therefore I am”. Arriving at this conclusion was not a painless process, and led Descartes to self-doubt and outright fits of solipsism.

Half a measure of vermouth

Neither was Descartes without passions, a man that he was. Hearing that Galileo‘s work had been burnt and Galileo sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life, he decided to abandon his own work on De Homine, in which he presented an idea of a body functioning independently of the soul; His rational mind would not let him publish the work in a mutilated form, nor would his body let him come to quarrel with the church.

Fresh passion fruit

We are, all of us, rational at times, and less so most of the time. Curiously Descartes, although vehemently pursuing means to arrive at true knowledge through rationalising, also, through his ideas concerning the mind and the body made way to anthropocentric and individualistic philosophy, which in it’s turn turned in to romanticism and utter abandon of all reason whatsoever.

Our Summer Cocktail is a homage to Descartes, and man’s ability to rationalise at will, and abandon reason at whim.

Passions de l´Âme, s’il vous plaît.

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♦Passions de l’Âme♦

A teaspoonful of dried juniper berries
The pulp from one whole passion fruit
2 parts Bombay Sapphire
2 parts Noilly Prat
1 part green Chartreuse

Crush the juniper berries in a cocktail shaker. Add the pulp from the passion fruit. Pour in the gin, vermouth and Chartreuse. Shake well, and double strain in to a cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh passion fruit slice.

The juniper berries will enhance the gin flavor, and the passion fruit adds sweetness, which the vermouth intensifies. The Chartreuse adds body to the cocktail. A cool drink for summer days, pas de pastis.

EDIT: It only occured to me about three years after this post, that the passion fruit and green chartreuse blend in to a color very close to Chartreuse yellow. Go figure.

– Jere

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March Cocktail Recipe: Stepping on Roses

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Well, technically it’s not March anymore, we know. The reason for our tardiness is that originally we wanted to do something quite different for March, but couldn’t find a single bottle of Kirchwasser in all of Helsinki. Perhaps we’ll get some on our tour, and can supply you with some unaccurate historical reproductions in May!

Stepping on Roses is a variation of both the Mimosa and the Bellini. Drinks like these are often served at weddings, or as hair-of-the-dog drinks at other daytime parties. For us, it’s a staple welcome cocktail and a salvage for less agreeable sparkling wines. The rose fragrance is luxurious, and if you can find jam with petals, it gets even better.

♦ Stepping on Roses ♦

2 parts Rose petal jam
1 part Fresh orange juice
6 parts Dry sparkling wine

Place the rose jam and orange juice in a tall champagne flute. Stir well to mix the two. Pour in the sparkling wine, and stir very gently, not to lose the effervesence of the sparkling wine. Take your shoes off. Have a ball.

The name comes from our song The Mascot Moth, of course:

Why don’t you

Stop dangling from the chandelier, don’t go

Stepping on roses if your feet are bare, silly bear

Make no mistake, I am the hunter and you are the deer

Here’s the deal: If you sink to despair, search for me.

Listen to the song here:

 

Mimosas and Bellinis are usually served without garnishes but they are a festive detail. The function of the garnish in a coctail is not purely visual – with Stepping on Roses you might try decorating the drink with either rose petals or strips of orange peel, and see how the different garnishes affect the senses.

Ah, and we have just the cocktail in mind for April: The beautiful  Maja with all the grace of a Polish belle! Be back soon!

– Laura & Jere

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