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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tax Day Cocktails

Yes, there it is, looming on the horizon.  Tax day.  I am a tax procrastinator; I willingly admit it.  It may have something to do with the returns for three different states I have to fill out, or the fourth state return I have to do to help out my dad, but I just hate doing taxes.  I never finish on the last day (I’m not that much of a procrastinator), but I come close.  Especially when I have to pay in, like I do this year.  On tax day, I will be ready for a good stiff drink or two (or three), and I would guess that the same is true for you.  So I’m not here to recommend some cute cocktail that takes a lot of time, I’m here to suggest some classic cocktails that are easy to make and easy to double for those of us that need a good stiff drink once they have their taxes done.  Just remember, you may have to go to work Thursday, so don’t overdo it.  Have a great cocktail, curse the taxman soundly, and get a good night’s sleep.

The Sazarac is reputed to be the original cocktail, first concocted in “partay central,” Nouveau Orleans.  This brown beauty is almost straight whiskey and deserves to be treated with respect.  Sazaracs are traditionally (and according to my recipe) served in an old-fashioned glass, but in honor of tax day I will tell you one of my darkest secrets: I like to drink Sazaracs out of a cocktail glass.  Yes, I know it’s perverse, but I like to take a cocktail glass out of the freezer, rinse it with Absinthe (coating the inside of the glass to the rim), strain in that heavenly mixture, and then drink my way around the rim of the glass so that I get that little hint of Absinthe with each sip of Sazarac.  The sensation can be almost orgasmic.

The Manhattan is another venerable cocktail.  It’s around 140 years old, and is sometimes attributed to Winston Churchill’s mother.  The more likely story is that it was concocted for a party she was throwing.  The ratio of whiskey to vermouth in a Manhattan can be as low as 1:1, but my recipe is considerably drier at 4:1.  You may also vary the bitters you use to influence the flavor and make this drink your own.  One secret to a good Manhattan is to use quality maraschino cherries.  If you have any Luxardo Marasche® Marasca Cherries, use them.  If not, I guess you’re stuck with the bright red, plastic ones… at least they taste good.  What the hell, if you’ve got your taxes done, drop in two cherries; you’ve earned them.

You didn’t think I would forget the Martini, did you?  Whether made with Gin or Vodka, a Martini is one of the old stand-bys for rapid intake of alcohol to dull the pain of paying taxes.  This cocktail supposedly originated during the California gold rush, so it’s kind of à propos to drink a Martini as you see your gold rushing away from you.  After the agony, it’s nice to have the biggest decision you must make be the choice between olive, onion, or lemon peel.  Decisions, decisions…

One final suggestion as your money goes south comes from south of the border: a Margarita.  I’ve always had a weakness for this cocktail.  You’ve probably noticed that my recipe is for a blended Margarita.  That doesn’t mean that I have anything against a Margarita on the rocks or straight up.  Au contraire, I tend to make my Margaritas frozen because they go down too fast otherwise.  For tax day, assuming your taxes are done, I recommend shaking your Margarita like a maraca and serving it straight up in a chilled cocktail glass with a lightly salted rim. Olé!  And death to taxes!

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1 comment:

  1. I decided the only thing that could ease the pain of paying taxes today is to make each of the drinks on your list and drink one of each today! Then I'd be too numb to feel anything - including my empty pockets.