Martini Fun!

Our last Martini Fun party of the year!  As usual lots of fun and many thanks to all of you that attended; it was great seeing everyone again (and we missed you if you weren’t here!).  Doug, of course, was the hit of the party once again as was his special drink, “The Jeannette” named after our very own, Jeannette Fung.  Are you looking for treats for your feet?   Sox Appeal, her new retail business, located near the historic Sonoma Plaza has just opened and you are invited to visit her.  She would love it!

We decided to go retro as well this time and the second drink served was the Manhattan (it is such a perfect fall drink).  Paraphrased from the Williams-Sonoma Bar Guide: This cocktail made its debut at New York’s Manhattan Club at a banquet party given by Lady Jenny Churchill for Samuel Tilden, the lawyer who prosecuted the infamous Tweed Ring in the 1870s.  Unlike the Dry Martini, the Manhattan is a challenge to mix becaue its ratio of whiskey to vermouth is absolutely critical.  Results also depend on the type of whiskey you use – straight rye or bourbon will produce a superior beverage to blended Canadian whiskey.

Speaking of retro – We thought it would be fun going forward to have one of our drinks be something from the past.  So please post your desires, but you know Doug will have the final say.  After all, he IS the bartender.  I am thinking a Singapore Sling would be fun – it has been decades since I have had one!  Don’t forget to post.

Now for the recipes.  I included one here for the chili as well. I try to make all my soups in clay pots and this batch was made in a large black clay pot from La Chamba, Columbia affectionately called the Missionary Pot.  Happy eating and drinking!

2.5 oz. bourbon
1.5 T sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 marachino cherry for garnish (I used Morello cherries; love them)

Pour the whiskey, vermouth and bitters into a mixing glass 2/3 full of ice cubes.  Stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with the cherry.  Make a pitcher full; much easier!

2 oz. Tangueray Rangpur gin
1/3 oz. Grand Marnier
1/3 oz. simple syrup make from Billington’s Natural Demerara Sugar (and you thought this was simple)
2/3 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/8 oz. St. Elizabeth’s Dram (which is an allspice Dram)

Pour all the ingredients into a shaker filled with ice; shake and pour into a chilled martini glass.  Enjoy sipping the wonderful mix of flavours!

The day before you make the chili, prepare the beans.  I use heirloom beans (1 lb.) and mix several varieties for chili and love the ones from Rancho Gordo located in Napa.   Their preparation and cooking of the beans is excellent. I highly recommend following their directions for cooking of the beans.  You could cook more than needed  to use in another recipe. I add lots of beans and you can experiment with the quanitity made.  I more than doubled this for tonight!

The day you assemble the chili:
Saute 1 pound of ground turkey, chicken or beef with chile powder, Mexican oregano and cumin (I used turkey: half dark and half white meat) or you can leave this out if you want a vegetarian chili

Saute the following  in a few tablespoons of olive oil until soft:
1 large onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
orange and yellow peppers, thinly sliced
3T finely chopped chipoltes in adobo sauce
1T Mexican oregano
2T hot chili powder
1-2 t cayenne pepper (if you want it hotter)
1+T ground cumin (I love cumin so adjust accordingly)
Salt to taste (I never salt)
1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes with their liquid
beer, optional
masa harina, optional

Gently simmer over low heat, covered for about 1 hour  and then add the cooked beans with their broth.  Continue simmering, covered for an additional 1/2 hour or until beans are tender.  If you need more liquid I add beer and I thicken the chili with 1-3 T of Masa Harina dissolved in hot water. At this point I cool and refrigerate over night allowing the flavours to totally blend and then reheat and serve with yogurt, grated cheese, onion, jalapenos, tomatoes or cucumber.  A very rich satisfying chili mostly because of the flavourful Rancho Gordo heirloom  beans.  Serves 8

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