Friday, November 12, 2010

4th sign of the Apocalypse

So now we have come to the 4th Sign (the first being me starting this blog and maintaining it for over a year and here are Number 2 and Number 3) and it is getting more evident that the end is neigh.

So what could be such a convincing sign?????  How about me quoting Martha Stewart?  Pray for our souls………………

Stock up on essentials for a complete bar

From The Detroit News:

A well-stocked liquor cabinet is a good host's secret weapon. Keep these basic types of alcohol, mixers and tools on hand, and you'll be able to offer guests a wide range of drinks.

Beer. Ales and stouts are good choices for winter, whereas lagers taste most refreshing in the summer. Unopened beer can be stored at room temperature and then chilled before serving. Once you've chilled beer, though, it must be consumed before it warms up, or its flavor will be spoiled.

Wine. Store wine on its side or upside down, below 70 degrees and in a temperature-controlled wine fridge if you have an extensive collection.

Vodka. More of a surefire crowd-pleaser than gin, vodka is your No. 1 must-have clear liquor. Sip it chilled and neat, or use it for vodka martinis, vodka tonics, greyhounds, lemon drops, Bloody Marys or White Russians. Store spirits at room temperature (below 80 degrees), and try to use open bottles within a year, since they may spoil over time. It's fine to chill vodka in the freezer for a party, but it begins to thicken after a few months in there.

Whiskey. Bourbons and lighter rye-based whiskeys are best for sipping and mixing. You'll be able to make Manhattans, whiskey sours, old-fashioneds and mint juleps.

These extras complete bar

When shopping for parties, restock your basics and add these extras if you want to offer a full bar or special cocktails.

Gin. A must for true martinis (which are always gin-based), gimlets, Negronis and Tom Collinses.

Scotch. Whiskey connoisseurs will drink it straight, while cocktail fans can have a rusty nail.

Rum. It's the basis for most tropical, fruit-based drinks, such as mojitos and mai tais.

Tequila. Keep silver tequila on hand for margaritas, Bloody Marias, tequila sunrises and shady ladies; and extra-aged, or anejo, tequila for sipping.


Consider brandies such as Cognac and Armagnac, or offer an outside-the-box idea, such as pisco.

Mixers. Store vermouth, sodas and juices in the refrigerator. Other mixers do best at room temperature. If you're serving a signature drink or two, let those recipes dictate your extra mixers.

Modifier spirits. These spirits complement your base liquor and add the main flavor to a cocktail. The most important: sweet and dry vermouth, for martinis and Manhattans; bitters (Angostura and Peychaud's are the classics); and Cointreau, an orange liqueur that provides the sour flavor in drinks such as cosmopolitans and lemon drops.

Juices. Cranberry is a staple. (You can get the white variety if you're concerned about spills.) When using fresh-squeezed orange, lemon, lime or grapefruit juice, strain out the pulp, which turns drinks sour.

Sodas. Always have tonic water and club soda on hand. Ginger ale is also practical.

Sweeteners. Make simple syrup by boiling sugar with water. Or you can use agave nectar in place of simple syrup, but do a trial run with your cocktail recipes because you may need to adjust quantities to offset its sweetness.

Garnishes. Cut fruit as close to party time as possible, so it stays fresh. You'll need limes for margaritas, gimlets, mojitos, daiquiris and cosmopolitans; lemons for any type of sour, lemon drops and Tom Collinses; oranges for old-fashioneds and screwdrivers; and olives for martinis.


All these items can be found at a good kitchen-supply store, unless otherwise noted.

Rabbit, waiter's friend and bottle opener: The Rabbit uncorks wine in a single swift movement. A waiter's friend, also known as a captain's knife, gets the job done, too, and usually includes a bottle opener.

Jiggers or measured shot glasses: Jiggers range in size from .5 ounces to 2 ounces. Keeping all those cups on hand can be a pain, so you can just get a 2-ounce measuring cup, which has markings for every half-ounce.

Boston shaker: A two-piece shaker consisting of a pint glass and a stainless steel base. This is the shaker most professionals use.

Long-handled bar spoon: Used to stir cocktails that contain only spirits (like martinis) because it creates a smoother drink than shaking. (Only shake cocktails containing juice and other ingredients, which require more vigorous mixing.) A bar spoon generally holds a teaspoon.

Zester: Great for making fancy twists of garnish more quickly than with a paring knife.

Hawthorne strainer: A stainless steel strainer with a spring that secures over a shaker. When pouring, place your index finger over the tab to stop large pieces of ice or fruit from falling out of the shaker.

Julep strainer: This strainer with multiple holes rests perfectly inside a glass and is used for straining stirred cocktails.

Muddler: A pestle-like tool used to crush herbs, fruits and sugars inside a mixing glass. It's especially handy for mojitos and old-fashioneds.

Cutting board and paring knife: For chopping fruits and making twists of lemon or orange peels to add to drinks.

From The Detroit News:

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