Sunday, September 4, 2011

Russians, Wallbangers and Tiki Huts

Nothing says 70's quite so much as some of the cocktails from that era. Seems like America was just in the mood for something new and wild to consume when along came Kahlua and Galiano to literally satisfy the thirst. It seems it wasn't just a thirst, either. There was a sweet tooth involved in the equation. We started craving really sweet and rich things like Kahlua and cream, or sweet pineapple juice with sweet coconut cream. It's a wonder that that era didn't see the obesity we seemed to be plagued with these days.

What stands out in my mind as the quintessential cocktail of the 1970's is the Harvey Wallbanger. From that sprung the Freddie Fudpucker which just sounded naughty which sent all the newly liberated people into a tizzy thinking they could walk into a bar and talk dirty when ordering a drink. Yes, the repressive days of yore were gone.

Harvey Wallbanger

•3/4 oz vodka
•1 1/2 oz orange juice
•1/4 oz Galliano
•orange slice for garnish
•maraschino cherry for garnish
1.Pour the vodka and orange juice into a collins glass with ice cubes.
2.Add the Galliano.
3.Garnish with the orange slice and maraschino

At about the time the Harvey Wallbanger came out is when I had my first Black Russian, a drink rich, sweet and very true to the time.

White Russian

Ingredients: 1 Part Kahlua, 1 Part Vodka, 1 Part Cream or Milk, ice cubes

Method: Pour the Kahlua and Vodka over ice, into short glass. Top with cream or full cream milk. Serve.

The next drink also came in an ice cream version. I remember going to a place called JC Grundy's in Kalamazoo, Michigan that served nothing but ice cream cocktails. I can only hope it's no longer there. I will never forgive myself for agreeing to go there with a group of hard core waitresses from Battle Creek.

Brandy Alexander

1 ounce brandy
1 ounce dark créme de cacao
1 dash heavy cream

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass

Our final drink of the 70's was popularized in a bad song by Jimmy Buffet called The Piña Colada Song although the drink came out a few years before the song. If you're having a Tiki party, you cannot omit this drink.

Piña Colada

1 ounce brandy
1 ounce dark créme de cacao
1 dash heavy cream

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass

Finally, the drink that became a dessert. Yes, this makes more sense than the ice cream Brandy Alexander. The Grasshopper Pie could be eaten without getting blitzed or sick. A suspicious friend actually refused a piece because he thought I'd made it using real grasshoppers. Looking back, even more remarkable than the fact that he thought I'd made a pie out of grasshoppers, is the fact that he didn't figure out I was gay. Who else would be bringing you a piece of grasshopper pie as you were laying in bed listening to big-hair rock through your headphones? Anyhow, try this out. It won't win you a boyfriend but it's lots of fun all the same.

Grasshopper Pie

1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup creme de menthe liqueur
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
1/4 cup creme de cacao
3 drops green food coloring
1.Mix together the chocolate wafer crumbs, and 6 tablespoons butter, melted. Press in to the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 minutes. Let cool.
2.Melt marshmallows with milk over low heat. Chill, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to set. Blend in creme de cacao and creme de menthe. Fold in whipped cream and tint with green food coloring. Pour into pie crust and sprinkle with grated semisweet chocolate. Chill 4 hours before serving.
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