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Mar 10, 2010 01:19 PM

Pitcher of cocktails suggestion

I'm hosting a dinner party Sunday afternoon, and would like to get everyone in a happy mood to start. With the appetizers I'd like to have a nice recipe to make a pitcher of drinks.

The appetizers I'm putting out will be some home (not my home) made soppressatta, bocconcino mozzarella balls wrapped with grilled marinated zucchini strips, goat cheese and tapenade bruschetta, and small cubes of an artichoke frittata.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

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  1. What's the weather supposed to be like? You could serve the first batch of Pimm's Cups of the season if it's suitably springy out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

      With your name I'm not at all surprised at the Pimm's Cup suggestion? Anyway, it'll be warm but rainy. I'm looking for something with a little more kick than Pimm's Cup, which I do love during the summer.

    2. I guess it depends upon your guests. If they are adventurous, I might do a pitcher of these:

      1 oz Gin (overproof would be wise in a pitcher)
      1 oz Cynar
      1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cinzano for the name, but any would do)
      1 dash Peychaurd or Angostura bitters

      This would stand up to the bold appetizers, and a little melting will moderate the drink's bold flavors. Basically a Negroni with Cynar (to mirror the artichoke, and also to stand up to your bold tapenade).

      Staying with the Italian theme, you could also do a Pegu Club with optional Campari:

      2 oz Gin
      3/4 oz Cointreau
      3/4 oz Lime
      2 dash aromatic bitters

      optional 1/4 (or 1/2 :) ) of Campari that each person can pour into their glass or not as they choose, either mixed or let it sink to the bottom. With the Campari, it is a lot like a Jasmine, but I prefer the Pegu/Campari combo. Without the Campari, it's also fabulous.

      And this would be fabulous, too:
      Bitter Elder
      1 1/2 oz gin (I use Tanqueray, but the recipe calls for Plymouth)
      3/4 oz St Germain
      1/2 oz Campari
      1/2 oz Lemon

      Really delicious. Really.

      3 Replies
      1. re: EvergreenDan

        Holy smokes, EvergreenDan is on a Cynar kick, I better get me a bottle! ;.)

          1. re: EvergreenDan

            EvergreenDan, thanks for the Gin-Cin-Cyn recipe. My dad was very close to Charlie Castelli, who was the marketing guy in the US for Cynar. I'm looking at the soft cover book 'The Sensous Artichoke' that he published in 1995 right now!

      2. Manhattan's stand up pretty well to a pitcher as do Aviations.

        Might also try Negroni's with that food.

        Not exactly a cocktail, but I really LOVE a good Manzanilla de Sanlucar (bone dry) sherry with Salumi and the like. Nothing is better in my book with cured meats. If you can't find a Manzanilla a decent Fino is pretty close.

        1. the menu sounds lovely. there's enough time to make an herb-infused white italian wine. maybe sage and thyme? not a big kick but would complement your flavors

          1 Reply
          1. re: appycamper

            Thanks for all the suggestions, I think I'll try the Gin Cin Cyn. I'll report the results.

          2. I see you picked one already, but for future parties perhaps...

            At the Tiki Bash fundraiser run by LUPEC Boston (Ladies United for Preservation of the Endangered Cocktail), they served big punch bowls full of several stellar party cocktails.

            By far, my favorite was the Ken-Tiki. It's not particularly sweet, has good complexity because of the Campari, yet still keeps just on this side of what most people's palates enjoy. I think the Campari would complement the artichoke frittata and the goat cheese in particular.

            Here's the recipe. It's not scaled up for pitcher size, but easy enough to adjust. It says to shake the ingredients, but I know for sure they didn't do this for the punch-bowl version at the Tiki Bash. if I recall correctly, they had big rings (or blocks?) of ice so it didn't get watered down too quickly. For serving from a pitcher, I'd probably advocate large chunks on ice and some vigorous stirring. As for the Herbsaint rinse, you could just rinse each glass poured (oo! You could use one of those old school vermouth atomizers for finnicky martini drinkers, and fill with Herbsaint. If don't have one of those, a cheapo mini perfume atomizer would suffice -- I know Sephora keeps these in stock for under $10.). And if you don't have Herbsaint or Absinthe on hand, I'm sure Pernod or Ricard or Pastis would be perfectly acceptable substitutes, at a fraction of the price.


            1.5 oz Bourbon
            .5 oz Campari
            rinse Herbsaint
            .75 oz Falernum
            .5 oz passionfruit
            .5 oz lemon

            Put all ingredients except Herbsaint in shaker and shake. Rinse glass with Herbsaint (or absinthe). Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

            If you want something more citrusy, I recommend another one the LUPEC ladies have done up punch bowl style (and thus, could be made pitcher style too). Purists will tell you that it's important the proportions on this cocktail are precisely measured, and that you use Cointreau instead of Triple Sec.

            CORPSE REVIVER #2

            3/4 ounce gin
            3/4 ounce Cointreau
            3/4 ounce Lillet blanc
            3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
            2 dashes absinthe, Herbsaint or other pastis

            Combine in a shaker with cracked ice; shake and strain. Garnish with a stemless cherry.


            And something from Death & Co in NYC -- a bit sweeter, and with a deep flavor despite the simplicity. (Needs to be scaled up for pitcher, but would be a very appropriate cocktail for serving that way.)

            2 oz. Plymouth Gin
            1/2 oz. St Germain
            Dash orange bitters

            Stir in a mixing glass with ice. Serve in a rocks glass over ice with a grapefruit twist.

            3 Replies
            1. re: litchick

              I thought I had artichokes in the freezer, but didn't. So the frittata became a spinach/onion/parmigiano reggiano one.

              1. re: litchick

                Could you elaborate a bit more on this Boston org called LUPEC? The name itself sounds fabulous.