Bee’s Knees Cocktail Night at The Elusive Cow Cafe

I had a fun night. My goal when mixing cocktails for folks is to get them to try new cocktails…and ask for new cocktails thus forcing bartenders to learn to make better cocktails for me to drink….

The Bee’s Knees was a success. Lots of smiles go around and Jim’s scallop special seemed to compliment the drink nicely.

I stuck with my usual portions:
2 ounces of Gin (we used Smooth Ambler Gin until we ran out and switched to Beefeaters).
1 ounce of honey syrup. Each parts honey and water whisked together over low heat just until mixed. Don’t over cook!
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Try this over the holidays. Try them after the holidays. Try them out on friends or family or just keep it to yourself.

Next Wednesday – The Manhattan!

Bee’s Knees Cocktail Night at the Elusive Cow – 12/19/2012

What kind of beekeeper would I be if I didn’t offer up a Bee’s Knees cocktail at the next Elusive Cow Cafe cocktail night?

What’s a Bee’s Knees? This Prohibition-era cocktail is a wonderful mixture of floral gin sweetened with organic honey syrup and brightened by lemon juice.

The Cow’s Chef/Owner will be pairing some nice entrees and apps with the cocktail. Come for some drinks, a good time and support a new local restaurant.

Drink prices TBD. See The Elusive Cow’s website for a menu.

Sidecar Night Follow-up

Last night’s Sidecar Night at the Elusive Cow Cafe< come off well. My first Sidecar was for the Chef at Virgil’s Cafe, Matthew Buschle. He gave it a thumbs up which means a lot to me.

Also, thanks to Alicia Hissong McEwen, Rob Koewler, Chalee Engelhard and husband and daughter, Scott and Alex and John Batchelor, Brittany Montgomery and their friend Chris and Craig Schneider and Angela Zerhusen and all the others who showed including Tom Ratterman and the Bellevue City Council who showed up for a late meal and a few cocktails.

I’m sure I’m forgetting some folks I know and of course all the folks I met for the first time last night. Please forgive, I’m a bit tired. Now, after doing 249 reviews, you can review me.

Lavender Honey Margarita

This is a cocktail invented by Alicia (it may be served elsewhere, but she came up with it independently).   It was out of necessity.  We wanted a margarita, but a slightly sweeter one than the classic we usually have (the ones we served at our margarita themed cocktail party)  We were feeling lazy so used the Lavender Honey syrup we have on hand for the Bee’s Knees cocktail.

We were blown away.  This margarita is wonderful.

All you need to do to make the lavender honey syrup is steep some lavender in boiling water (just like tea) for a 5-10  minutes.  Let the water cool.  Strain the lavender out and heat up the water again.  When it’s good and hot, stir in an equal about of honey (we get our honey from a vendor at Findlay market who keeps bees up in Ohio).  Whisk well until blended.  Put it in the fridge for a couple days to infuse a bit.

Then combine these ingridents:
2 oz. tequila (we use Cuervo Gold)

1 oz. lavender infused honey syrup
1/4 oz. cointreau (we use Patron Cintronge)

1/2 oz. lime juice – usually about half a lime.

It keeps the tequila taste,, the Patron offers a bit of heat, the lavender cools it and the honey gives a full bodied mouth feel.

Bee’s Knees Recipe

Tonight’s cocktail party will feature the Bee’s Knees Cocktail.  It’s fairly easy to make but offers a flavor you won’t get from most cocktails.  That’s because the sweetening agent isn’t fruit or triple sec, but honey.

2 oz gin
1 oz honey syrup
1/2 oz lemon juice

We’ve been using Tanqueray, but tried a new (and much cheaper) gin called New Amsterdam that’s not so junipery.  I think it works a bit better in this cocktail, but maybe not.  I’m still tasting.

Alicia – not a gin drinker – has really taken to this. Like the gin-based Pimm’s Cup, it’s great during the summer. We like that it uses honey syrup (1 part honey stirred into 1 part near boiling water) which we have sometimes infused with lavender from our herb garden. It’s heaven on a summer night on your patio.

Pimm’s Cup Cocktail Recipe

June 8 is Alicia and my next cocktail event.  Invite is here.

This is a pretty good summer time cocktail and went over well at a recent tapas party I attended.  It’s also easy to make, but don’t skip the garnishes.

Fill a highball glass with ice, pour in 1.5 oz of Pimm’s No. 1, fill the rest with 7-UP.  Put a long cucumber spear down one side of the glass, then an apple slice on top.


Manuel Terron’s Margarita Story

Manuel Terron, who hosts Mixing with the Best and Cocktail Diaries on Fine Living and Discovery Networks in the USA sent me the following about the origin of the cocktail.  It takes away from what my Aunt Margie said, but who knows….You can see clips from his show at his company website here, but you should definitely TIVO them.

“Hi Howard, mate I am so sorry that this info is getting to you rather late but there are a number of stories surrounding the myth of the Margarita. The one I told on the show revolves around the Carlos Herrera at Rancho La Gloria who developed the drink for a young Ziegfeld Follies starlet, Marjorie King that was allergic to other alcohols and only drank tequila.  As this was not considered very ladylike in 1935, she asked him to come up with a cocktail that had tequila as the main ingredient. So Carlos added sweet for her voice, lime to match her green dress and he shook it up like she would shake it up on the dance-floor then rimmed a glass with salt to symbolize the halo over this angel head and gave it the Spanish derivation of her name, Margarita.
I’m glad last night was a success, I hope the Pimms night is just as good.  Let me know if I can help out in any way you can also email me on xxxxx.  Cheers!”


It’s Margarita night tomorrow night.  We’ll try to post the food menu later, but here’s the drink recipe:

1 1/2 oz Tequila – we’ll use Cuervo Gold
1 oz triple sec – we use Patrone’s Citronge
3/4 oz fresh lime juice

This is a bit dryer that what most people expect a Margarita.  The Citronge also adds a bit of fire as compared with Cointreau or Grand Marnier – but we like it.  We used bottle lime juice and the taste just wasn’t as fresh or bright as it needed to be.  Alicia tried it once with sweetened lime juice (Rose’s makes a good one) and it was more in line with what people would expect, but I’ll stand by the recipe above.  Don’t forget to rim your glass with Kosher salt.

The Blood and Sand

The Blood and Sand

from Alicia & Howard McEwen, CFA

¾ oz Orange Juice

¾ oz Scotch

¾ oz Sweet Vermouth

¾ oz Cherry Heering Cherry Liqueur

Shake with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

This was scheduled to be the February 08 cocktail.  However a good friend passed away the Saturday before the event so we canceled it.  However, this will be the one we serve in April.  My God is this a good drink.  Alicia declared at first sip that it bumped off the Pomegranate Manhattan as her favorite.

It does have a very sensual and sexy feel to it.  Very romantic.  Try it for anniversaries or night outs.

Scott Sargent who sold us our Kia sent me the following email that I think is the best testament to the Blood and Sand.

The Blood and Sand is the best drink that I have ever tried.  My wife and I had a date night on Saturday and went to GameWorks/ Jaxs down at Newport on the Levee for drinks and dinner.  With technology today I was able to find the recipe for Blood and Sand on my Blackberry and had the bartender make me one.  In result of this after dinner we had a little down time before our next engagement and we ran to the Party Source across the street and got everything I needed to make it at home.

The Vintage Sidecar

The Vintage Sidecar

from Alicia & Howard McEwen, CFA

1 ½ oz Brandy

1 oz Triple Sec/Orange liqueur (we used Patron’s Citronge)

½ lemon juice

Shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Flame an orange peel on the drink.

To flame an orange peel, cut a quarter size peel off the orange. Hold the orange skin side down over a lit match. Flex the orange peel. This will bend the orange peel releasing oils that are lit by the match. The droplets should fall into the drink.

This was served at the January 08 Cocktail Experience.  This is an old drink that not many people order.  My goal in starting these events was to teach myself and others about rarely ordered cocktails.  This was the first mostly unheard of one.  It went over well.  The theatrics of the flaming orange peel helped too.