Thursday, October 30, 2014

Shake it Up - Mixology in the News

Blue Bijou. Oil on panel, 8" x 8".

The book release party is little more than a week away, and today it hit the papers in style! Dan Nailen nailed it in today's edition of the Pacific Northwest Inlander. His fun article really captured the feel of the series and the book. You can find the online version of the article here.

I first read the article from a cell phone snapshot, so if you want to read it and prefer that method, here you go.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Getting Close

Glass Galore. Oil on panel, 8" x 8". ©2014 Sheila Evans.

Yikes! The Mixology Book Release Cocktail Party is less than two weeks away!

So much has to be done before that happens, it's been too crazy around here to post. The book has attracted attention from the local papers, for one thing, meaning multiple interviews and photo shoots in the last few weeks. So exciting! Then there was the usual framing and other prep for a show, going through rounds of proofs for the book and reproductions, and making even more paintings for Yuletide. On top of all that I realized I need to stage a booth shot for entry into shows before the artwork was all gone. Whew!

Good problems to have, of course. And it hasn't been all hard work, either. We did manage to slip in a new cocktail experiment at a party last weekend. Look for the "Stout and Stormy" in a new book sometime next year.

I hope to see you at the party on November 7th at Mizuna. I expect fun, and of course, great cocktails.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Pegu Club

Pegu Club. Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

Mixology was supposed to have eighteen recipes. Now it has nineteen.

A delicious birthday dinner with my parents at Mizuna (home of the future Mixology release party) introduced me to a new (to me) drink: the Pegu. Jinkies! Where had it been all my life?!? Before the main course arrived, the Pegu was researched and found to be the house cocktail of the Pegu Club in 1930s Burma, and a perfect candidate for the vintage drinks collection.

The next day, armed with birthday cash and searching for a depression glass juicer at the always-amazing United Hillyard Antique Mall, I stumbled upon an antique Indian brass-and-enamel shaker tucked away in a dark corner of a low cabinet. I'd already looked for one of these for the next book, but the very few examples for sale online had been snapped up. Upon seeing this one, I just about fell over. Conveniently, Burma (Myanmar) borders India, so there you have it. 

I tested the Savoy version of the recipe on myself, loved it, and that was that. To include the Tasters, however, a Pegu Club dinner with curry soup ensued---after I finished the painting. To my regret. In my defense, there is a deadline. But Kate, it turns out, is an enthusiastic polisher of all things brass. She wiped the dust off of our ancient container of polish, and this happened:

Shaker pre-Kate
Shaker Kate-ified

Oh well. There will always be more paintings requiring an Indian shaker...

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Whiskey Sour

Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

"Whiskey Sour, an Epic Journey" would be a better title. Whiskey Sours have been a favorite drink of mine for a long time, until a visit to the (sadly defunct) Central in Portland ruined them for me. Their amazing, from-scratch-with-an-egg-white version was unlike anything else.

Properly motivated to attempt the Central version, I started testing on myself (I didn't think any of my friends were big W.S. fans). I came close-ish a time or two, but never quite got there. On the last night of recipes, I put it to our most discerning tasters: Paul, Tom, Teya, Kate and Richard. 

By the time I got to the W.S., we had tried something like four versions of Aviation. We test with half-servings, but still. As Teya dished up some tasty soup, I took my most recent recipe, made a slight tweak, and sized it up for three portions.

Upon delivery of the drinks, my guests' eyes widened a bit. It was delicious! So good in fact, I went to make another batch and... SHIT. I knew as soon as I started that I had multiplied the recipe wrong the first time, but I had NO IDEA WHAT I HAD DONE. Damn you, Aviation!

I took a guess, but no. Four attempts and an egg run (thanks, Paul!) later, we finally nailed it down. Whew. 

Not to be outdone, the painting put me through my paces as well. Unhappy with the setup in the first version, I set out to do it again. Happily, the painting only took two tries, and all things Whiskey Sour are, at long last, right with the world. 

BONUS: In honor of Mixology's imminent release, here is the elusive recipe:

Whiskey Sour
11/2 oz. rye whiskey
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
1 egg white
Dash of orange bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker without adding ice. Shake for 30 seconds. Add ice, shake and serve in a sour glass.

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