Monday, April 2, 2012
When my friend Sienna travels she always come back with bags full of spices and other exotic dried ingredients for me. Luckily she goes to places like Morocco and France, so I get gifts of bright red and yellow mixes for making tagine or fancy mushrooms for throwing into stews.
Not that I’ve had much time to cook with them recently, much less blog about them. I’m not complaining, but I am apologizing a bit. I realized that I haven’t posted a recipe in about a month. The reason is simply that that I seem to have been doing just about everything but cooking. Traveling (to Iceland, Puglia, Florence as you know) but also working. And eating. Besides the writing (the traveling and eating is actually working you know!) my Food Tours and Workshops have been hugely successful. And while a day spent talking, teaching and sharing food is invigorating, it doesn’t leave me with much appetite - or time - for cooking at the end of the day.
Luckily for me Sienna’s husband, Yves, travels to other types of places and brings back a completely different set of goodies - that require no cooking what-so-ever - each time. He works at FAO, and besides traveling to the expected places like Africa, he often finds himself in places like Poland or Switzerland where you’d think the culinary souvenir buying is pretty slim.
But Yves is always focused when it comes to free-time shopping, and always manages to come back with his bags full. Not of spices or mushrooms. But of cocktail makings. As I've mentioned in the past, Yves is the cocktail meister in Monti. And almost better than the spices that Sienna brings back (sorry Sienna) Yves actually invites us over to have us sample his latest invention. (No cooking on my part involved. )
This past Friday we helped break in Sienna and Yves terrace for the season. While it got slightly chilly after the sun went down, we all had sweaters and - of course - Yves's Krupnik Lust Blasters to keep us warm.
Yes. Krupnik Lust Blasters. According to legend, this was one of the very first cocktails that Yves made for Sienna back in Seattle when he was courting her. Evidently someone had the very smart idea of importing this obscure Polish honey-based liqueur to the States. So when Yves had to to to Krakow for the day last week, you know what his mission was.
The hardest part about making a Krupnik Lust Blaster is getting your hands on a bottle of Old Krupnik. If you can, it’s worth buying a bottle. Or two.
Another hard part about this cocktail is having only one. They are terribly good. The honey brew is sweet, but not too too sweet, and Yves adds just enough lemon juice to make it all smooth and sour.
And why does he call it the Lust Blaster? Well, it certainly worked on Sienna. They’ve been together for about two decades.
And the love potion even worked on the cocktail garnish. See how the twist of orange rind turned itself into a lusty heart? Old Krupnik. A very unromantic and crusty sounding name I know, but add ‘Lust Buster’ to it, and your garnish - and most likely your soul - might get blasted lustily.
Krupnik Lust Blaster
2 oz of Vodka
1/2 oz of Old Krupnik
1 tsp of lemon juice
twist of orange rind
Pour vodka, lemon juice and Old Krupnik in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with orange rind.