Thursday, January 5, 2012

Two New Cocktails Inspired by the Moon

For the group art show, Lunation:  Art on the Moon, I've come up with two new lunar inspired cocktails.  The Honeymoon, a milk and honey concoction spiked with sandalwood oil, and Dark Side of the Moon, a chocolatey tangerine libation accented with jasmine oil.

The Dark Side of the Moon is made with homemade tangerine vodka which is incredibly easy to make.  The most difficult part is shaving the fragile fragrant peel of the fruit while not taking the bitter pith with it.   I used the skin of one Satsuma tangerine per cup of vodka.  Simply place the peel and vodka in a jar and give it a good shake every few hours and it should be ready in under 24 hours.  Strain out the peel and you're ready to tend bar.


The recipe also calls for homemade creme de cacao.  The store bought variety with it's synthetic chocolate flavor might work but once you've had the real thing you can't conceive of drinking the adulterated version.  

Creme de Cacao
one cup sugar
two cups water
one ounce unsweetened chocolate
one half teaspoon vanilla
one cup vodka

In a medium pan combine sugar and water.  Boil on medium high heat until the mixture is reduced to half its original volume, about 20 minutes.  About five minutes before the syrup is done melt chocolate in a two cup or larger container.  Immediately and very slowly pour hot syrup into the melted chocolate, stirring vigorously while pouring.  If mixture is not completely smooth and blended beat with a  mixer or in a blender.  Cool mixture for 30 minutes.  Add vanilla and vodka.  Blend well.  Immediately pour into a clean sterile bottle or jar with a tight fitting lid or cap.


The secret ingredient of Dark Side of the Moon is the drop of jasmine absolute, diluted to 5% strength.  Jasmine has long been associated with the moon and adds a narcotic floral body to the cocktail.

Dark Side of the Moon

one jigger tangerine infused vodka
one jigger creme de cacao
two drop jasmine absolute, 5%

Give the combined ingredients a good shake and strain into a chilled martini glass, or serve over ice. 






The Honeymoon is made with homemade oat and honey vodka made by soaking rolled oats and honey in vodka for three weeks.  To make one cup of vodka use a half cup of rolled oats and a scant quarter cup of honey.  There are many varieties of honey so pick one you like, preferably a milder one.  Shake it all up in a clean sterile jar and macerate in a cool dark place and make sure to give it a good shake daily.  Filter through a paper coffee filter into a clean bottle.  Straining can be a little challenging so be patient.

The Honeymoon also calls for sandalwood oil in a dilution of 10%, and a teaspoon of Chamomile Water.



                                       
The Honeymoon

one jigger honey oat infused vodka
one jigger milk
one drop sandalwood oil, 10%
1/8 teaspoon chamomile water

Give the combined ingredients a good shake and pour over ice.







Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A New Perfume for Lunation: Art on the Moon

Observatory Room is hosting it's first ever group-curated show, Lunation:Art on the Moon. 

Artists and scientists have always been attracted to the moon…

Our closest celestial neighbor, the earth’s little sister, the moon creates the tides and illuminates the woods at night. For centuries, humanity believed the moon provided a key into the invisible realm: it called out the beast within us, freeing us to act as wolves, to run, to dance, to chant—and sometimes (as in Duncan Jones’ Moon) to split in two, to find our double, our changeling moon-self.

Is the moon home to life? Today we know it isn’t, but even as of 1830, speculation was rampant that the moon was inhabited by Christianized bat-people who worshiped in great ziggurats. (See The Sun and the Moon by Observatory alumnus Matthew Goodman for details.) Still, life comes to the moon. We know the moon contains frozen water, and we dream of using it as our jumping-off point for visiting even more alien vistas.

Down here, despite all the prowess and nuance of our latest telescopes, earthlings still look up naked-eyed with excitement at the full moon. Lovers and children gaze up at its slowly blinking fa├žade in mute wonder. Artists portray the moon as a source of danger and power, and latter-day sorceresses and men of magic call up to that heavenly lamp, seeking to transcend the ordinary night. For them, the old myths have not changed so much: the moon is still a secret mirror, showing in pale light how the familiar contains always an element of the unexpected…

Herbal Alchemy will be participating in the show by offering up a new perfume for the occasion, Moonrise.  The Greek goddess, Artemis, who represents the new moon, is portrayed in this fragrance by the addition of wormwood (an artemesia) in the top note, supported by bergamot and petitgrain.  Luminous jasmine forms the basis of the heart along with honey and rose, and sandalwood and frankincense form the base chord.

Opening Party: Saturday, January 7th, 7–10 PM, FREE
Closing Party/Observatory’s 3rd Anniversary Fundraiser: Saturday, February 18th, 8 PM/$20
Show Viewing Hours: Thursday & Friday 3–6 PM, Saturday & Sunday 12–6 PM

I'll be serving two special cocktails at the opening party:  The Honeymoon, a sumptuous concoction of oat and honey vodka spiked with sandalwood, and Dark Side of the Moon, a chocolatey jasmine spiked libation.  Hope to see you there!