Perfect Pairings: Snazzy Cocktails & Jazzy Records
As we say au revoir to summer heat and bonjour to breezy autumn evenings, your drinking shenanigans are likely to move indoors. Not to worry! The approaching months are the best time to fall in love again with your favorite cool weather cocktails. Fall also marks the return of leggings and boots - reason enough to kick up your heels.
To celebrate the new season, invite some friends for a night of sophistication by offering one of the best combinations since Sonny & Cher: jazz and cocktails. What? You don’t know any jazz? We’ve got you covered.
Here are the ultimate pairings of sips and songs to make your next event one to remember.
The French 75 & Ella Fitzgerald, Porgy and Bess
Ella Fitzgerald, aka Lady Ella, has been called the Queen of Jazz. The singer became famous for her purity of tone and a vocal range as wide as the sky. In 1958 she made history by becoming the first African American to win a Grammy. Porgy & Bess is one of the classics.
It takes a special drink that can stand next to Lady Ella. The French 75 starts with gin mixed with a dash of simple syrup and lemon juice and topped off with champagne. This rose gold copper jigger is a must for pouring such a decadent drink. The perfect balance of liquor and bubbles, the French 75 has been a staple since it first made an appearance at the famous New York Bar in Paris in the 20’s.
Make a mark in history, or at least in the collective memory of your friends, with this unforgettable combination. Classic cocktail, meet classic jazz.
.5 oz Lemon Juice
.5 oz Simple syrup
1 oz Gin
3 oz champagne
Add all the ingredients except the Champagne to a shaker and fill with ice.
Shake well and strain into a Champagne flute.
Top with the Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.
The Sidecar & Miles Davis, Kind of Blue
The Sidecar is arguably one of the best cocktails to come out of the Prohibition era. The rich taste of the cognac is perfectly complemented by notes of citrus and brandy, courtesy of the Cointreau. This simple but sophisticated drink is a must-have in your repertoire.
If the Sidecar is the drink of an era, Miles Davis is the voice of an era. Even the less-than ardent jazz listener is sure to have heard some of his timeless tunes in movies and television. The smoky sound of his trumpet will create the perfect mood to make your guests swoon. Jazz night bonus: it’s understated enough not to interfere with good conversation. The Sidecar paired with Kind of Blue will make you feel warm and fuzzy, inside and out.
1.5 oz VS or VSOP Cognac
.75 oz Cointreau
.75 oz Fresh lemon juice
Coat the rim of a cocktail glass with sugar and set aside.
(Do this a few minutes ahead of time so the sugar can dry and adhere well to the glass.) Add the remaining ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice.
Shake, and strain into the prepared glass.
Garnish with a piece of orange peel.
The Clover Club and Chet Baker, Chet Baker Sings
Travel back in time with our next killer combo. The Clover Club was named after an all-male salon of lawyers and writers who gathered to drink and discuss politics, literature, and other cigar-worthy topics. A drink lauded for its sophisticated environs at its inception, it’s a must have in your bartending arsenal.
Chet Baker Sings is a Grammy Hall of Fame winner, and its smooth, old Hollywood tones will make you feel like you’ve time traveled. “I Get Along Without You Very Well” is a much-beloved track on the album. Sings is a the perfect music choice to impress a date over dinner, or to give grandma and grandpa a reminder of the good ole days. Hand them a Clover Club and you’re in.
A mixture of old and new is the secret ingredient to sophistication. These refined libations topped off with some smoldering jazz make a recipe for success. All you need to do is invite the guests and pick up the ingredients.
2 oz Gin
1 Egg white
.5 oz Fresh lemon juice
.5 oz Raspberry syrup*
3 Speared raspberries, for garnish
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice.
Shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with three speared raspberries.
* If you don't have raspberry syrup, you can muddle together 3 or 4 fresh raspberries and .5 oz simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water) instead.
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