I have no pictures from the cocktail party, but I can share the different drinks that were had. Most pictures are courtesy of Wikipedia, except for the Brooklyn, the Gin Fizz. We start with the cocktails I made:
This is my favorite cocktail ever. My first experience with it was while emulating one of my grad school professors, who was and is something of a hero to me. I immediately took to the taste, and fortunately so did my friends at the party! We don’t have access to maraschino or preserved cherries of any kind here, so I used instead some preserved strawberries a friend had given me. This was probably the most common drink at the party.
This is basically a Manhattan with cherry liqueur instead of a cherry. This was almost as popular as the Manhattan at the party, and I could feel better about making it as I actually had cherry liqueur! However, we used bitters instead of Amer Picon, because we don’t have that.
A Bronx can be made in two ways. The way I first found calls for equal parts orange juice, gin, and vermouth, thus making it a martini with orange juice. This was how I made it (only one person wanted it), but he found it just delightful as it was. Apparently, it is made more properly with more gin than orange juice, and then half as much vermouth as juice, split evenly between sweet and dry (thus making it a “perfect” vermouth drink). That is obviously more work, but I’ll be trying that next time!
I don’t know what else can really be said for the Martini. I had never appreciated the gin martini until I finally had some good gin to make one myself, and then I fell in love. I had tried it several times before that, but it always fell short. (Of course, a free “martini” in a plastic cup is NOT going to work well.) If you don’t know or love this one, you must come to my next party.
This drink, due to the soda water and lime, is more refreshing than most. I only made two that night (the guests were just not that into gin), but they were well loved by those who had them. Note: This is not be confused with a Sloe Gin Fizz, which requires a special liqueur known as (appropriately enough Sloe Gin. I plan to pick up some of it the next time I’m in the States for awhile.
I make no secret of my Kentucky origins, and when our English Language Fellow asked me to come up with something that represented my home (and used the good bourbon I’d brought with me), I decided it was time to induct him into the League of Southern Gentlemen. While many in my home state actually revile the mint julep, I think it’s probably due to the mass production that occurs at cheap Kentucky Derby parties. I’ve even heard it said that some use mint syrup instead of real mint. Our ELF loved it, and at that moment I decided that we would hold a Derby party, and that the juleps will FLOW.
Clover club This came late in the night, especially as one of my friends got incredibly brave. He had brought the shaker, which had different recipes inscribed in it, and he asked for me to make “whatever was next on the shaker.” I explained that it had an egg white in it, and his response was “Sure! Why not?” (Remember: We’re in AFRICA. There may be reasons not to…) However, we all agreed that the final result was pretty tasty! The egg white gets frothed enough that it’s not slimy or thick–it’s just delightfully foamy. (I use the same technique in my eggnog.)
Not everyone was so adventurous, and so one friend had one of these. I want to note the absence of slushiness, of unnatural pinkness, or weird glasses. Very clean, very tasty.
Shirley Temple Not everyone at the party was a drinker, so I made a few of these as well. (I don’t question why a non-drinker would come to a cocktail party–these are my friends, and I was just happy to have them over!) As sweet and innocent as its namesake, I can down several of these myself without really thinking about it.
The Teacher took a turn as bartender as well, and she whipped up some of these:
This has long been one of her favorite cocktails, and she loves to show it off. The different layers and colors really make it pretty, and it tastes good.
One one she made up on the spot with the ingredients at hand:
a Pink Lady (made up by my wife on the spot):
She also made some sangria, using the local citrus and grapefruit soda (the aforementioned Sport Actif). It was a very nice addition to the party, as some people got a little tired of the heaviness of the cocktails.
All in all, it was a wonderful night, and I particularly enjoyed getting to try some older drinks (and enjoyed more sharing them with others!) And, I’m going to have to try making more cocktails with egg whites.