Tag Archives: party

Miller Lite Shrimp Cocktail – the perfect starter or passed hors d’oeuvres

Printable PDF at the bottom of the page!

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

It’s but a few days till we all begin our 2017 crash diets, but before that starts let’s keep the fatty food fiesta going! Here is one in a series of apps and starters that I am presenting moving toward New Year’s celebrations. Today’s is The Gentleman’s Miller Lite Shrimp Cocktail.

This dish is actually not fatty or gross, just a bit indulgent. It’s a luxurious starter and also can function as a passed hors d’oeuvre on little spoons with a dollop of sauce.

Ceramic asian soup spoons work well for individual servings of appetizers. They make them in recyclable plastic, too.

Dad and Poppa pretty much always drank Miller Lite when I was growing up, and they both loved a shrimp boil. So this is a bit of an homage to my dad and his dad.

What you need:

  • 1 12 ounce can of Miller Lite (or your favorite beer)
  • 6 ounces water
  • 1 pound shrimp, peels on**
  • peels of one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons crab boil***
  • 2 teaspoons salt

**Shrimp are classified numerically by how many pieces you get per pound. 21/25 shrimp = you will get between 21 and 25 shrimp per pound. U15 means you will get Under 15 shrimp per pound. I like about 16 shrimp per pound. Indulgent, sizable, but not giant. Also, try to get E-Z Peel shrimp. That means they’ve been deveined and you won’t have to deal with removing the intestinal track. Gross.

***My preferred brand is Kalustayan’s House Blend http://kalustyans.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=8638&search=crab+boil – but Zatarain’s and Tony Cachere’s are fine, too. Just less complex. Be sure that salt is not an ingredient in your crab boil.

In a saucepan, combine liquids, lemon peels, crab boil and salt. Bring to boil.

Add shrimp. Boil for exactly four minutes and not a moment longer. Remove from sauce pan, put in a bowl with ice and lemon slices.

When they are a temp you can work with, peel them. Allow the shrimp to get very cold before serving.

MILLER LITE SHRIMP COCKTAIL – THE PERFECT STARTER OR PASSED HORS D’OEUVRES

I like to serve them with this basic, easy cocktail sauce.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup of ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated horseradish
  • dash of fresh black pepper
  • siracha, Frank’s Red Hot, or Texas Pete to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of smashed capers (optional)

Combine all ingredients. Allow to sit before serving, allowing the flavors to merge.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a shrimp. This is certain to please your guests, or maybe just you!

Happy New Year.

xo – The Gentleman Caller

The Gentleman Caller’s Cocktail Sauce

The Donkey in the Manger, aka The Gentleman’s Holiday Mule

Printable PDF at the bottom of the page!

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Hello, holiday revelers!

I’m about to knock your stockings off with a donkey kick to the palate with my Holiday Mule.

Do you know what a pomander is? It’s when you take an orange and shove cloves in its skin in a decorative way. We used to make them when I was a kid. Very aromatic. This was my inspiration for this beverage.

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Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup whole cloves
  • oranges
  • vodka
  • ginger beer**
  • club soda
  • orange bitters

Combine water, sugar, and cloves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer for 20 minutes. While that’s cooking, use a vegetable peeler to take the outer skin off the orange.

At the end of the 20 minutes, add the orange peel to the saucepan and remove from heat. Allow to steep and cool. Reserve a peel or two for garnish. Strain the solids out of the syrup once cool.

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Fill your mule glass with ice. A traditional mule is copper with a handle. I found this ridiculously cute one at Pier One Imports.

To the ice add:

  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce cooled clove-orange syrup
  • 1 ounce fresh orange juice (if not using fresh, reduce to 1/2 ounce)
  • 2 ounces ginger beer**
  • 3 ounces club soda
  • dash of orange bitters

**ginger beer has no alcohol. Make this kid and Designated Driver friendly by simply eliminating the vodka.

Swirl with a spoon to get everything happily married. Toss a reserved orange peel on top and chug-a-lug from that sweet copper mug!

I’m certain this will become one of your holiday staples.

Enjoy in moderation.

xoxo,

The Gentleman Caller

THE DONKEY IN THE MANGER, AKA THE GENTLEMAN’S HOLIDAY MULE

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Make them say OOOOH with a Punchbowl Ice Wreath

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Knock, knock, knock.

Gentleman Caller.

This is an oldie but a goodie, friends. The classic ice wreath.

Now if you’re like me, you have sweet memories of cut glass punchbowls and ladies stirring concoctions of sherbet, 7-Up, pineapple juice and other sweet delights into it and watching the foam rise. Family parties, showers, holidays… A punch bowl was a staple. Granted you get a thimbleful of liquid in the dainty cups, but when it’s loaded with the calories of a traditional Southern style punch, perhaps that isn’t a negative.

Earlier I told you about a crisp Autumn cocktail with cranberries and cinnamon syrup. I made this beverage in a large quantity (just make all the ounces into cups…) in my vintage cut glass punch bowl and it was a hit.

Now if you know anything about me by now, you know half-assed is not an option. So I crowned the punch with a shining ice wreath. And it really did look like a crown.

Here’s what to do. This wreath is ideally for Vaccinium Autumn Vaccination.

  • Put a bundt pan in the freezer for a couple of hours. Make sure it’s flat/level.
  • Add about a cup of cranberries to the bottom. Add about a half cup of lemon Perrier mixed with 2 tablespoons of cinnamon syrup (see Vaccinium recipe). This shouldn’t cover the berries. Cranberries float; that’s how they are harvested. You only want to glue the berries down with the liquid mixture as it freezes.
  • Once that layer is frozen solid, add grapefruit juice to cover the berries and then some.
  • Allow that to freeze solid.
  • Slice and de-seed a lemon (thin slices). Leaving the mold in the freezer, adhere the slices into the broad side sections of the pan. The slices will freeze on contact like a tongue to flagpole.
  • Allow that to all freeze solid.
  • Mix about a cup of grapefruit juice, a cup of cranberry juice, a little cinnamon syrup and some lemon seltzer so you have enough liquid to almost cover the lemons. It should all be cold. Pour it into the mold.
  • Peek at it occasionally. When it starts to get good and slushy, poke a cinnamon stick into the narrower divots at the edge so that they will be visible.
  • Allow to freeze solid.

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When you’re ready to serve the punch, run the bundt pan carefully under hot water. Don’t allow the water to come into contact with the ice ring. It should slide out quite easily. Add your crowning touch to the punch. You may put either side up; the one side will have red glistening cranberries, the other a crown of cinnamon sticks. You can’t go wrong.

I hope you wow your guests with this relatively simple show stopper.

All for now.

The Gentleman Caller

Sparkling Ice Ring Crown in a vintage cut glass punch bowl
Sparkling Ice Ring Crown in a vintage cut glass punch bowl

 

Vaccinium Autumn Vaccination – The Gentleman’s Fall Special

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Manicured hand courtesy of Chris Crowthers.

Printable PDF at the bottom of the page!

Knock, knock, knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Yeah, I know. You’re thinking, “What in the hell has he titled this beverage?” Vaccinium is the term for a species of low bushes that yield the delicious, tart cranberry. And you know what a vaccination is. Consider this cocktail a vaccination from your loud mouth brother-in-law or cousin that’s coming to Thanksgiving dinner and going to talk politics and conspiracy theories all day. Just simply look at your spouse or significant other, or perhaps a worldly child relative, and say, “Babes, I need another VAV.” See, an acronym there.

In all seriousness, though, this bad boy is not too sweet and really tasty. I auditioned it before a room of sophisticates and got the thumbs up.

Here’s what you need:

  • Cranberry syrup – in a small saucepan, combine 1 cup cranberries with 1 cup orange juice. Bring to a boil and simmer till all the berries pop. Take a potato masher and smash ’em good. Run the mixture through a wire strainer, dispensing with the leftover solids. Tah dah, cranberry syrup.
  • Cinnamon syrup – in a small saucepan ( I know, you want to hit me with a small saucepan because this is already too much work), combine 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water. Add 5 cinnamon sticks that you’ve broken up a bit with a meat tenderizer or a rolling pin. Bring to a boil. Simmer ten minutes and then let steep and cool. Strain the cinnamon sticks out. Tah dah, cinnamon syrup.
  • Lillet (pronounced li-lay, a French aperitif wine, relatively easy to find)
  • Vodka
  • Perrier lemon flavor
  • Fresh cranberries for garnish

In a shaker or jar or whatever, combine 1 oz cranberry syrup, 1 oz cinnamon syrup, 1 oz Lillet, and 2 oz of Vodka. Swirl it around. Pour into a rocks glass over ice. It better be square ice. You know I don’t like misshapen ice cubes. Top with Lemon Perrier. Toss in 3 cranberries. Voila!

This is the PERFECT beverage to serve at your cocktail parties or family gatherings this time of year. I mean, one sip and your leaves might change color. I don’t know what exactly that means; use your imagination.

I’m out for now, fellow fans of fall.

The Gentleman Caller

VACCINIUM AUTUMN VACCINATION – THE GENTLEMAN’S FALL SPECIAL

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