June 29, 2012

Friday Happy Hour: Cucumber Collins

Got extra gin lying around?  Got extra cucumbers lying around?  We did, and that's exactly what caused us to make these delicious summertime beverages.  Cool and refreshing, the cucumber adds a very fresh taste to this cocktail.

So, to start with, you need: cucumber, mint, club soda, gin, simple syrup (don't know how to make that? I'll share later, perhaps), and lemons.  Better if you have a Collins glass, but if not, you can use a rocks/old fashioned glass like I have shown at left.

5 slices or so of cucumber (halved)
1 jigger (1.5 oz) simple syrup
1 jigger (1.5 oz) fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 jiggers (3 oz) gin
club soda
mint and an extra cucumber slice for garnish

Start by muddling a generous amount of sliced cucumber with one jigger of simple syrup and one of lemon juice in the bottom of a shaker.  To get more cucumber flavor, you should really pulverize the slices.  I like cutting the circles in half first to allow more of the seeds and cucumber to break off easier.

Add 2 jiggers of gin to the shaker and fill with ice.  Shake vigorously until cold.

Here you've got an option:  If you want substantial amounts of cucumber in your beverage, pour it unstrained into a glass about 2/3 full.  If you just want the flavor and don't want the cucumber pieces (my preferred way), strain it into a glass over ice up to about 2/3 full.

Fill the remaining 1/3 of the glass with club soda.  Important step: Dump the entire thing into a larger glass and back to mix the soda into the drink.

Garnish with mint sprig and an extra slice of cucumber and enjoy.

June 28, 2012

TV Talk: The Newsroom

Televison Hungarian ORION 1957In case you missed it, HBO launched a new series called The Newsroom, written by Aaron Sorkin.  While I was slow to come around to The West Wing, and I've been ambivalent about some of his projects (though I did enjoy The Social Network), I have to admit that he is an excellent screenwriter.

That said, I had no idea how much I was going to like this new show (The Official Website for the HBO Series The Newsroom | Series Premiere in June:) until we watched it last night.

Wire-to-wire.  Intense.  That's all I really have to say about it.  It certainly has some political slant to it, that seems to underly much of Sorkin's stuff, but looks at some events of our recent past as a kickoff to the show. I am curious if this pattern will continue of using real news events of the recent past as they continue to develop both the show and the characters.  As the show-within-a-show is geared towards a "different" portrayal of the news than our current media outlets, I am intrigued if the goal of the show, in part, is to retell the same news events that actually occurred but through this "different" lens.

Whatever it is, I like it.

Oh, and I think HBO makes the best television on television.