Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Moscow mule cocktail

No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you.  This is really a post about an alcoholic drink.  With alcohol.  Like I said, nice weather makes people do crazy things :)

This past Sunday, we visited a friend's new house for an old fashioned cookout.  (For those keeping track, like myself, this makes 6 consecutive weekends of grilling.  At this point, I want to see if I can keep the streak alive all summer.)

The new homeowner is a dude and, as it turns out, can throw one heck of a party.  I don't know how else to say this without offending the male folk out there, so I'm just going to say it -- dudes don't always get credit for being the best hosts.  Maybe it stems from college parties where a case of beer and bag of chips count as "drinks and food."  Or that guys aren't crazy about details like women are.  Whatever the reasons, I'd like to assure all men and women out there that stereotypes aren't always accurate.  Because dude knocked it out of the park!

Shortly after we arrived, Jason told us, "Man, this hosting stuff is hard work.  I've been up since 6."   And it showed.  Among the sizable spread were hand-made burger patties resting in the fridge with asiago, blue, and American cheeses for topping.  Chips and dips.  Fancy natural casing hot dogs from the Strip District, as well as a plate of cheeses and thinly sliced proscuitto from Penn Mac.  Yes, proscuittoAt a barbecue.  Bomb dot com, you guys!

And, right next to that tray of heavenly meats and cheeses was a tall glass pitcher of some kind of cocktail that looked so good and fresh.  "Try a Moscow Mule!" he offered.

Now, you folks know I don't drink much alcohol unless it starts with a "P" and ends with a "rosecco."  But I thought, hey, why not?  It's a nice hot summer day and that cocktail looked so inviting.

One sip and I was hooked!  So  hooked that I reeeeeeeeally wanted to go back for seconds, but decided to let others sample and enjoy it as much as I did.  Ginger beer -- where have you been all my life?!  Mixed with fresh lime juice and just enough vodka for a special kick, I easily finished my first Moscow Mule with a smile on my face. 

Two days later, I was still thinking about that Moscow Mule, so I made a detour on my regular lunchtime walk and picked up the necessary ingredients.  The rest of the day passed slowly with the promise of a cool drink awaiting me once I got home.

That cocktail turned a dark and stormy summer night into a welcome evening of relaxation on the couch.  Light, refreshing, and icy cool.  There's something about enjoying a homemade drink on a weeknight that seems so grown-up, doesn't it?  "Toasting Tuesdays."  I think this may be the beginning of something glorious.

Moscow Mule Cocktail
(based on Jason's recipe)
-serves 1

A few notes: Although you might need to go the extra mile to find ginger beer, it's totally worth it.  And that's coming from someone who does not like beer.  It's delish!  Or, if you want to class up this drink and/or make it a touch more girly, substitute ginger ale for the ginger beer.  Yum!

6 ounces ginger beer
1/2 ounce lime juice
2 ounces vodka, chilled
Lime wedge, for garnish

Squeeze lime juice into a glass.  (Add 2 or 3 ice cubes if vodka not chilled or you want it extra cold.)  Pour in the vodka and fill with cold ginger beer (not ginger ale, although what the hell).  Garnish with a slice or wedge of lime and enjoy!

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