Good God - so many people spend the bulk of their time on all of the before aspects of the Ottawa Race Weekend, that they forget about the after part, that is: the victory party! I mean, fuck! You just ran the half marathon (marathon/10k/5k), baby! It’s time to celebrate! And there’s no better way to celebrate than a post-race cocktail.
By now, you’ve done your training. You are hydrated and carb loaded. You’ve put together you playlist, picked up your race kit and have thought about your pre-race meal (I recommend a toasted tomato sandwich, yum!).
At this point, I’d like to be the one to point out what a great mixer Gatorade can be. With the variety of flavours and colours, you can mix up some downright wicked cocktails.
In a hasty web search, I found this website that lists 37 (!) Gatorade based cocktails. Below are a few of my picks:
The Mix - Begola
3 oz Raspberry Vodka
4 oz Orange Juice
1 oz Blue Gatorade (yess, yess!)
Pour ingredients in a highball glass with ice. Stir. Garnish with fruit (oh, hell, you just ran a marathon, who’s got time for garnishes?)
The Mix - Flashback
3 oz Vodka
5 oz Gatorade (pick any flavour)
Mix the vodka and gatorade in a Collins glass. Top with gingerale.
The Mix - The Power Drill (you’ll need a big glass for this one!)
4 oz Vodka
6 oz Grapefruit Juice
6 oz Gatorade (go for Lemon, the yellow one)
Mix with ice in a big glass.
OK - now I know I don’t have to tell you not to drink vodka during the race. Jen wants you visiting the water stations during your run. And I don’t need to tell you to have lots of water and healthy snacks post-race before you bring on the booze. But when you’re ready…when you are done and feeling good about your accomplishment, kick back and continue hydrating with some Gatorade cocktails.
This year the marathon and half marathon go right along Wellington, and right by my house, so I’ll be out there cheering you on at around 7:30 am or so on Sunday. Good luck! Have a great race! You are ready.
Today was Churchill Alternative School’s Annual Plant Sale. Bar none my favourite school and kid-type fundraiser. In my child-rearing career (so far), I have noticed a distinct theme of (junk) food-related fund-raisers for school or for sports teams which involve either stuffing our kids with junk (pizza lunches) or having our kids peddle chocolate bars and other over-packaged sweets. While I understand the simplicity and the convenience of executing fund-raisers of this kind, and the element of ‘fun’ that a bake sale or cotton candy brings to the school experience. But the public health professional inside me likes to think that we can do better.
This is why I love the Plant Sale. I like to think that if we can involve our kids in the planning and organizing of fundraisers of this kind that they might learn a thing or two about nature and the outside world. Last year, the Churchill Plant Sale sold some ‘Charlie-Brown-Christmas-Tree-looking’ scarlett runners planted (no doubt, enthusiastically) by the kinders to sell at the sale. How can you not love that they were involved and contributed to the school community in this way? I like to think that kid-involvement in this kind of a fundraiser means that they will at least learn about (and witness) germination as well as the name of a plant or two and off-set the fact that they can probably ramble off the names associated with fast-food logos like nobody’s business.
Each year I have brought my daughter with me to the plant sale, not thinking too much about her interest in going. This year, when I walked out the door a little before eight without her (gotta get there early), she came bounding down the stairs giving me hell for almost leaving without her. I smiled to myself about how she didn’t want to miss it. I usually let her pick out the hanging basket and (most of) what we buy at the sale as long as she commits to helping me plant it. Check out what we came home with! And if we care for it properly, it will last all summer, which is a whole lot longer than a package of chocolate-covered almonds.
I made sour mix a few days ago. My recipe uses egg white, and I'm loving the frothyness! I find it a bit too sour with just whisky, so I add some additional simple syrup. I mixed two parts sour mix with one part cassis and one part apricot brandy which was a bit too sweet. I think some soda with that would work better. How do you like to use sour mix?
Hey Anonymous! I feel compelled to start this post off by saying that if you follow me on Twitter (@girlwithflask) you will see that I come clean about my (lack of) mixology credentials (presenting myself as the ‘underqualified mixologist’). And this is why there was a bit of a delay in responding to your question. I had to do a little um…er…research (like, with books). Truth is - I don’t really use sour mix. Actually, the truth is, the last time I used sour mix was when I was finishing up my graduate work. Some of my ‘associates’ and I made up a cocktail we liked to call the ‘C-Punch’ (don’t ask), and it contained a sour mix. It was a powder. It was from a package. It was gross. But that didn’t stop us from downing them by the glass. I like to think that the PTSD sustained from using the fake stuff is the reason why I don’t use sour mix today. But honestly, I can’t think of a good reason – so it’s a good thing you asked. It is clearly something I need to know about if I ever plan to get myself a real bartending gig…
OK, OK. So did you KNOW that sour cocktails (or ‘Sours’) are a whole class of mixed drinks (on their own) that are characterized by a mixture of the hard stuff (brandy or gin or applejack or bourbon/whisky), water, sugar/sweetener, lemon juice, and maybe an egg white. David Wondrich in Imbibe discusses the evolution of the sour cocktail, and how the ingredients have evolved over time from one tablespoon(!) of sugar to one teaspoon of the sweet stuff, and how a squirt of seltzer came to replace water in the mix (so a squirt of seltzer may indeed solve your sweetness issue).
People who actually know what they’re doing emphasize that the key factor in the sour mix is the ratio of sugar/sweetener to lemon juice. Home mixologists will use equal parts of lemon juice/simple syrup which means that when you adjust the ratio you can get a continuum from super sour (for the purist bartender) to something that’s just tart to bordering on sweet. So if you found your sour mix too sweet, maybe you’d like to play around with your lemon:sugar ratio.
I thought I would post a classic Whisky Sour recipe for those of you like me who know nothing about sour mixes and want to start off with something classic – or for those of you who love whisky and want a variation. Note the equal ratio of sugar and lemon juice.
The Mix: Whisky Sour
2 oz whiskey ½ oz fresh lemon juice ½ tsp sugar 1 cherry ½ lemon slice
Put all ingredients in mixing glass and add ice cubes. Mix. Strain into a highball glass. Add lemon slice and cherry to garnish.
So now that I am practically an expert on sour mixes, I guess I would tend to use them in margaritas, daiquiris and sidecars. BUT one of the most intriguing (yet old fashioned) innovations I came across in my research into sours was ‘the claret snap’ – that is, to top a whisky sour with a float of red wine. Yum!
So I hope this post have been of some help to you, Anonymous. Thanks for asking! Keep on reading!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over time as an under-qualified mixologist it’s that you have to strike while the iron’s hot at the LCBO. I think that the LCBO is exceptionally well stocked for most of the basic cocktails you’ll find in books and on the web, but it can be hard to find some of the more ‘exotic’ cocktail ingredients (like black vodka) that can make for an interesting drink. Saturday recommendations from Beppi can be long gone by Sunday morning, and Vintages can walk out by the boxful the very same day of the release. You’ve got to act fast!
When you have a cocktail blog, or like to experiment with different ingredients and liqueurs, you do spend a bit of time in the liquor store, and you do get to know what is regularly stocked and what is not. What that means is, when you see something on the shelves that is new/different/not a ‘regular’ item you have to pick it up. Right away. And that is totally what I do. The unfortunate side of this is that your kitchen/dining room/liquor cabinet can, at time start to resemble an unfortunate scene straight out of an episode of Hoarders. Horrifying.
"Everywhere you look in this house, there is a bottle of alcohol," my ten year old daughter said as she glanced across the room at my newly acquired bottle of honey liqueur (the latest addition, which hadn’t been spotted in the liquour store for ages). Sadly, she speaks the truth: without a ‘proper’ liquor cabinet, bar, or the extra kitchen cabinet space to store the hooch in an orderly fashion, there is a tendency for the goods to spill out (nice pun) onto the countertops and other nooks and crannies.
And before I knew it, somehow, my fast-talking daughter’s commentary on general kitchen (dis)organization had gotten me into a bet. A modern ’2011’ kind of bet, the Jock calls it: I give up cocktails for one week (seven days). If I fail in my quest, I make my daughter a pan of brownies just for her, no sharing. If I am successful, she gives up the YouTube for one whole week (oh, yeah!).
NOW - like the good ‘how does this affect me?’ blog readers that you are, the bad news is that I won’t be sampling any new cocktails for the next five days (am two days into the bet…actually, three days by the time you read this, and well on my way to victory!). But the good news is, well….let’s be honest: there is no good news for you. Unless you want to feel smug about having ample storage space/advanced organizational skills to effectively hide your own vast liquor stash from the children.
So wish me well on my seven days without cocktails (been there, done that), and stay tuned for a cocktail idea using an 'exotic-can't-usually-find-it-in-the-LBCO' ingredient that I tried out and LOVED before all of this Roal Wedding/Election hysteria set in. You just never know what's in Jen's liquor cabinet!