Just for one post, let’s abandon our pretense of anonymity and talk a little bit about the real place that indulges the Kiddush Club and its shenanigans. (Cool your jets, Security Committee, I’m not revealing anything you can’t find on Google Maps and the shul website). Last night, we celebrated 18 years in our current building, and of course Kiddush Club had to represent.
We settled on a martini bar within a few minutes of planning; somewhat predictably, an evening of inventing recipes took a turn for the inane. (“We have to use curacao and slivovitz.” “In the same drink? Don’t we like these people?”) We nearly came to blows over our non-alcoholic drink–was it subversive and cheeky to tweak a Christmassy cranberry sparkler, or a heresy we would never recover from? Then someone dropped a synonym for mocktails that we’re usually careful not to use, and a genius idea was born.
A few days after our planning session, we had a rare moment of maturity and decided to run our jokes past their butts. (Um. Run our ideas past the butts of the jokes? Sorry, y’all, I’m a little rusty at this.) We nervously approached one of the most venerable of our past presidents, asking if she’d mind if, maybe, one of the special event drinks was named in her honor; since she didn’t tipple very often, we could reserve the un-boozed drink for her eponym. To our surprise, she grinned immediately. “You could even call it the Shirley Temple!”
With the addition of an apostrophe-S, that was pretty much exactly our plan.
Thanks to all of our past presidents for inspiring these cocktails, and for always inspiring, leading, and invigorating our community.
Recipes: With the exception of the Loevy-ly martini, all drinks can be mixed in a pitcher and poured for maximum crowd-serving efficiency.
Shirley’s Temple: Make a cranberry simple syrup by mixing equal parts water, sugar, and whole cranberries and bringing to a boil. Add orange peel, sliced ginger, and a cinnamon stick; reduce to 2/3 of the original volume and strain. When cool, mix 1 part syrup, 2 parts ginger ale, and 2 parts seltzer with a splash of orange juice; garnish with an orange twist. (Upon request, vodka can be added.)
Bob-tanical: Make a botanical simple syrup by boiling together equal parts green tea and sugar with rosemary, winter savory, lavender (and juniper berries would be ideal, but we failed to track any down in time). Again, let the syrup reduce to 2/3 of its original volume, strain, and cool. Mix 1 part syrup with 2 parts tonic water and 2 parts seltzer; garnish with a spritz of lime and a dried Jamaican sorrel flower (or any edible flower). (Also delightful with gin.)
Shak-Ed, Not Stirred: A standard* gin martini. 5 parts gin, 1 part vermouth, lemon twist.
O-Lou-ve Martini: A standard* dirty martini. A splash of vermouth, plenty of vodka, olive juice and an olive garnish.
Diane Apple-korn**: 7 parts unfiltered apple juice, a splash of standard simple syrup, 3 parts slivovitz, 2 parts vodka. Garnish with a rosemary sprig. (We’d recommend also shaking with the rosemary sprig if you’re serving a smaller group.)
Loevy-ly Chocolate Martini***: Combine 2 parts creme de cacao, 1 part caramel schnapps, and 2 parts vodka. Shake with 2 parts cream and ice. Strain into a glass and garnish with chocolate sprinkles (ideally) or mini chocolate chips.
The Rodfei Zedek (dedicated to all the future presidents in attendance): 1 part blue curacao, 4 parts sake; garnish with lemongrass.
*Note that the individuals honored by these drinks are anything but standard.
**The runaway hit of the evening, much to our surprise–who knew slivovitz served for anything more than a punch line?
***Design credit to the supremely talented Nuclear Engineer (who faced her fears of vermouth while laying this out).