Monday, October 10, 2011

Cocktail Hour - A Snack and a Fitty - Fitty

Sometimes, trying to decide what you want to serve with the night’s first cocktail can be a little daunting. Of course you can be a heathen and serve nothing, which is basically what “bars” in the US do.  Even at those fancy schmancy cocktail places, it’s your ($14) drink and nothing else. Oh, I’m not counting the dive bars and the special mix of pretzels, peanuts and cheddar goldfish that sit up in a salad bowl on the bar during happy hour, absorbing god-knows-what varieties of bacteria and viruses, just waiting to be inhaled along with your $2 PBRs. I mean, it’s food, but…I’m not eating it.

With Significant Eater home for a 4-day weekend, that first cocktail and first cocktail snack become even more important.  Sure, I could put out a bowl of nuts or olives, and we’d both be somewhat happy.  It’s often what you get in Europe when you go out for an apéritif, and it makes your drink just that much more appetizing and grown-up.  Civilized even.

So today, as we were strolling by a farm stand or two under the FDR Drive, we spotted these and I knew they’d make the perfect snack…
Little peppers are (were?) all the rage, since every place in the world that serves tapas has them on their menu. Usually they’re serving pimientos de padrón and the fun with padróns is that 1 in 10 of those little peppers are alleged to be super hot.  You eat them and, as they say, you takes your chances.

Note that these aren’t padróns, however; they’re shisitos and while they don’t come with a 10% chance of burning your tongue, they’re still damn good with the right drink.  So first, I heated up a cast-iron skillet till it was blazing hot…
Then threw the peppers in and blistered them all over…
And what about that all-important cocktail? I thought that a Fitty-Fitty, a drink we first sampled at Pegu Club many moons ago, might go well with the peppers. It gets its name from the fact that it’s half gin and half dry vermouth, with a few dashes of orange bitters. A Martini for those who don’t really like Martinis.  It’s herbal, vegetal and even a bit fruity, so I pulled out the ingredients for it... 
And before you know it, cocktail hour...

Fitty - Fitty (A Pegu Club variation)
1.5 oz. Good Gin (the Death's Door was quite nice, actually)
1.5 oz. Good Dry Vermouth
Few Dashes Orange Bitters 
Twist (and an olive if you so desire...and Sig Eater desires)

Stirred on ice until icy cold and served up, heathens.


  1. Prohibition show mentioned the bars used to serve "free lunch".. very salty things like sardines and such to make one buy more beer. Looks tasty Mitch.