Sorry Jessica, but pasta amatriciana is pretty amazing; though I wouldn’t order it from an Asian fusion restaurant.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, quartered then sliced so you have crescents
4 cloves garlic, sliced
3 or to taste peperoncino, sliced (Italian hot peppers)
150g guanciale, sliced (cured pork cheek, but I used bacon because Korea)
500 ml tomato sauce
500g pasta (I used casarecce because it holds sauce better)
salt/pepper to taste
Grano Padano, grated (pecorino is better, being a Roman cheese for a Roman dish)
Add a tablespoon of salt to a large pot of water. Bring to a boil and add your pasta. Cook per packaging instructions, minus 1 minute.
In a pan, heat the olive oil and the add the garlic, onion, peppers, and guanciale. When the onions start to brown add the tomato sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 6 to 7 minutes.
Drain the pasta and add it to the pan of sauce. Turn off the heat and mix the pasta into the sauce (counter-intuitive, but works better). Divide among four bowls. Finish with the grated cheese and garnish with peppers (above) or some of the guanciale that you didn’t set aside.
While to some this is not a true martini; some claim a true martini is solely gin with an olive, forgoing the vermouth and instead whispering sweet nothings in Italian over the drink when preparing the cocktail (some of the best dry vermouth comes from Italy); this is James Bond’s preferred movie drink.
As to the “shaken, not stirred” controversy: shaking “bruises” the gin/vodka; “bruises” is a pretentious word for changing the taste of the gin by shaking; more of the ice melts since shaking like you’re an abusive father breaks off small shards of ice (but chills the drink faster than stirring). On the other hand, cocktails made from “oilier” vodkas benefit from shaking because the oil is better dispersed through shaking than stirring.
Shaking also creates tiny air bubbles so the drink will temporarily appear cloudy, but will have become clear by the time the bartender adds the garnish and serves the drink with a wink.
Long story short, book Bond prefers his drinks as cold as possible and the quickest way to do this is to shake with ice. A better way is to keep the cocktail shaker, the gin, and the glass in the freezer until needed.
4 parts vodka
1 part dry vermouth (the non-red one)
Add the vodka and vermouth to a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake, then strain into a martini glass. Garnish with olives.
I try to watch a movie with my mum every time I’m home (usually around Christmas). It just so happens that the movie we watch is usually a James Bond film. This tradition goes back to the Pierce Brosnan days, though I’m afraid this time I won’t be home to watch Spectre. Sorry Mum.
What drink does James Bond drink? A martini, a drink as old as electric street lighting. It is simplicity itself when it comes to cocktails. In the books, Bond is nowhere near as picky about his potations, going all the way from whisky soda (he drinks more of these than his trademark cocktail) to Black Velvet. But only once does he drink a Vesper. Perhaps it has something to do with the way his heart was broken by the double agent.
With the new Bond film Spectre being released this week (though most countries get the film around the first week of November, I have to wait for the Korean release on November 12, and Japanese Bond fans not until December 5), it’s time for the first Bond cocktail. Small problem: Kina Lillet is no longer made with the same recipe the original cocktail needed. And, it is no longer called Kina Lillet, but Lillet Blanc. The consensus is that Cocchi Americano (brought in by a friend) is a very close approximation of the original Kina Lillet recipe. I’ve tried both versions and sometimes I prefer one, sometimes the other.
3 parts Gordon’s London Dry Gin
1 part vodka
1/2 part Cocchi Americano
Thin slice of lemon peel
Add the gin and vodka to a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake, then strain into a champagne goblet (or coupe, as book Bond recommends) or a martini glass. Garnish with a thin slice of lemon.
I’m a bit of a trivia nut, sometimes. For example, I’ve always wanted to know where Wayne Manor is (1007 Mountain Drive, Gotham). Another burning question is what does Alfred drink. As he’s the quintessential Englishman, my guess would have been gin & tonic, yet there is always that niggling doubt that perhaps my guess is not correct. So here is a crucial deal being struck between Alfred Pennyworth and Lucius Fox in Gotham, Season 2 Episode 1. If you’re a Batman fan and not watching this series you really should take a long hard look at yourself.
Our bartender doesn’t wait for the particulars since there are only a few things more one would ask to go with a gin & tonic.
The slice is actually a wedge.
And what better way to start a relationship than with a gin & tonic.
Alfred, being the consummate gentleman, not only doesn’t impose his tastes on his drinking companion, but also buys a drink for the bartender as well.
A Gin & Tonic is usually the drink I go to if I have no opinion on what to drink, or if I don’t want to give anything away when I first meet someone. The Gin & Tonic is also a pretty versatile drink since there are so many kinds of gin out there. The garnish is also not standard since some gins go better with lime, some with lemon, some with cucumber. Best to find out what the manufacturer recommends. The gin I used recommends lime, which is as close to a standard garnish as you’ll find. And as a cocktails in films, it’s pretty ubiquitous.
lots of ice
50 mL gin
100 mL tonic water
garnish of choice
Fill your Collins glass all the way to the top with ice (use a wine glass if you want to go Spanish). As a bonus, a Collins glass prevents the carbonation from escaping too fast, and lets you appreciate the bubbles as you drink. Add your gin. Add juice from your garnish if using citrus. Give it a stir. Add your garnish. Make sure you get your nose into the glass so you can smell the garnish as you drink. Enjoy.
I feel like I didn’t do the White Russian from The Big Lebowski justice with my earlier post. So here, for your vicarious pleasure, are all the times The Dude, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing, is making or drinking a White Russian. He occasionally calls them Caucasians, hence the post title.
In all, The Dude drinks nine White Russians, four of which he makes himself. He uses light cream (half-and-half) when at home and non-dairy creamer at Maude’s. There may be a meaning behind this, as the film is loaded with cryptic metaphors and hidden jokes. Never does he use a cocktail shaker.
2. At Maude’s #1, with what appears to be creamer
3. In a limousine
4. At the bowling alley
5. At Maude’s #2, with what is definitely non-dairy creamer.
This is one of my favourite cocktails, and, as far as I can remember, the first one I ever had since I had just turned 18 when The Dude changed the world. The Big Lebowski was recommended to me by a primary school friend (elementary school for the NAs) who ended up running a bar near Town Hall in Sydney.
This drink is usually made in the glass so there is no need for a cocktail shaker. The puritans will insist on using cream instead of milk, with the concoction shaken and then strained into a glass, but I’ll do as The Dude. Besides, what’s more chill than the sound of ice cubes against the glass as you drink?
60 mL vodka
30 mL Kahlua or any coffee liquor (no one else need know)
Milk (or soy milk)
Fill an Old Fashioned glass to about half way with ice. Add the vodka (The Dude uses more than 60 mL) and Kahlua. Top up with milk. Stir. Channel The Dude.
As a nightcap, I usually don’t add the vodka. Nightcap, not cocktail; cocktails must have at least three ingredients.