Friday, July 31, 2009

Upcoming Mixology Monday: Vodka Is Your Friend

After an intensive recovery period from the drunken debauchery at Tales of the Cocktail, August finds us back on track with Mixology Monday, carousing with our old friend, vodka.

The theme of August 10th’s Mixology Monday is “Vodka is Your Friend.” The recent high profile bashings of vodka interspersed with a few weak “yeah, buts…” left me wondering, is vodka the axis of evil, our most dangerous enemy? While it may not be the life of the party, experts agree: Vodka’s obituary does not have to be written just yet.

A lot of people have rules when it comes to drinking cocktails. Some (underprivileged, unfashionable, unconscious) folks don’t like bourbon. Others can’t handle gin. I can’t stomach rum, thanks to my Bacardi-Rum-151-meets-roller-skating incident when I was 14. Vodka can be a “safer” spirit for those who can’t be convinced to take risks.

Vodka also offers a Zen-like simplicity. Because it is relatively flavorless, using vodka as a base of a cocktail means you get to start with a blank chalkboard. Beginner’s mind. What flavor would you like to be today?

I just glanced at our Lounge cocktail menu and realized that more than – yikes - half of our house cocktails are based on vodka. You won’t find a lot of fancy pants drinks on our menu, but you will find concoctions on our specials boards bursting with fresh, local fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. Vodka is an excellent neutral base for our locavore infusion experimentations.

The Wall Street Journal might say vodka is passé, but the New York times counters that it ain’t dead yet. Vodka is still your friend. So what do YOU like about vodka? Why do you keep that bottle of Grey Goose on your shelf? What do your customers beg you to make with vodka? What vodka-based drink has stayed in your personal book of beloved cocktails? ‘Fess up.

Here’s how Mixology Monday works:
  • Find or create a cocktail that contains vodka as one of its ingredients.
  • Post your recipe and reasonings on your blog along with a drink photo. Make sure to include a link to Felicia’s Speakeasy (this blog) and Mixology Monday, as well as the MxMo logo.
  • Email me a link to your post before midnight on Monday, August 10 (amelia AT atomicloungeithaca DOT com) –or- post a link to your blog as a comment on this post.
I will post a wrap up on my blog with all of the cocktails and photos on late Tuesday or Wednesday. Za Vas!

Editor's note: It is OK to use flavored vodka, as long as your final cocktail tastes good!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dalmore and Mount Gay

Ask and the booze gods shall giveth. In a June blog post, I included Dalmore 1263 King Alexander III ($200) and Mount Gay Rum Extra Old ($45) in my Father's Day gift list and lamented that my sexy marketing pal, Sarah, did not include samples when she sent me info on these liquors. Well, Sarah just happens to be one of the three people who read my blog (my mom is the second and the third is some guy who lives in Sweden). Sarah heard my thirsty cries, and guess what I got in the mail a week later?

Let's get a few things straight about the Dalmore. Even if I did get a whole bottle of the good stuff, I probably would not share it with you. I discovered that there is a huge difference between expensive scotch and cheap scotch, and I'm keeping the good stuff for myself. But I will tell you what you are missing:

Dalmore 1263 King Alexander III is sweet and rich like butterscotch. It has a lightly toasted vanilla caramel flavor that skates smoothly across a wood undertone. Leah says that if scotch were a hard candy, she would want it to taste like Dalmore 1263. It made me - and this never happens to me - it made me want a cigar. I don't have $200 to spend today, but if I did...Oh, if I did. Mine all mine.

And in the other glass, Mount Gay Rum Extra Old. The website is annoying to navigate (Sarah, why are liquor websites so extravagantly complicated?) but Mount Gay is a damn good fruity rum swollen with the flavors of ripe banana and molasses...Hey, wait a minute, haven't we served Mount Gay at the Lounge? Why, yes we have. Time to get more on the shelf. Sorry to not remember this sooner but I have a little rum issue. My aversion to rum hearkens back to an incident at age 14 that involved a roller skating rink and Bacardi Rum 151. Oh, the 1980's. My parents punished my by making me go to work the next day, and god punished me when at work, ends up I had to serve rum cake to everybody. Thinking back on it, my mouth is watering. In a bad way. Rum, it's me, it's not you. You're OK, and I know the right person for you is out there reading this.

One last note about Mount Gay: If you come into the Lounge and think it is cool to pronounce Mount Gay with an overly dramatic French accent, like, "Can I please have some "Mow Geh" and coke?", we will laugh at you and make fun of you, unless you are actually French.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

AlleyArt in the News

"Already a muse for its patrons, Felicia's Atomic Lounge is blending creativity with
passion for sustainable and responsible living." Ithaca Times, July 22, 2009

Felicia's Atomic Lounge's sustainable AlleyArt got a nice write up in the Ithaca Times this week. The article highlighted owners Leah and Amelia's quiet persistence that we all need to get off our butts to recycle, reuse and reinvent resources. Felicia's composts, purchases alternative wind energy, and buys produce locally. That means drinking at Felicia's reduces your carbon footprint. Cool deal.

The photos on this blogpost feature the FarmArt of our July artist, Charlie Elrod. Felicia's August AlleyArt show will exhibit the Drunken Fishbowl shenanigans of artist Emily Benning. Her work can be seen at Got art you want to show at Felicia's? Read the submission guidelines here.

Here's the link to the full Ithaca Times article:

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Hopefully by the time you read this, the sun will be shining in Ithaca. If not, we will just have to accept the latest fashion trend: Rain is the new sun.

Over the past few months, umbrellas have been accidentally and shamelessly abandoned at Felicia’s Atomic Lounge; most of them are shiny black or navy blue, with the occasional hot pink, red polka dot or blue striped umbrella intermingling with the drab. While inspiring fashionable raincoats and designer umbrellas, the rain has not been inspirational in the creation of sunny summer cocktails.

We fall back instead on one of our old standbys, the Boilermaker. A Boilermaker is a simple concept: a shot of whiskey with a beer on the side. A tradition maintained by our grandfathers and their grandfathers before them, the Boilermaker is the perfect drink to blend your mood in with the drizzly landscape.

Amelia’s tasting tip: Whiskey tastes best when drunk out of one of your dad’s old, beat up rocks glasses.

Leah’s tasting tip: Try Dogfish Head's Raison D'Etre mahogany ale with a shot of Glenlivet scotch.


1 beer
1 shot of whiskey (or tequila or vodka)

Drink. Mope. Hope for sunshine.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


No, we have not tried infusing bourbon with bacon yet. Yet. But we are excited to tell you we have added a BLT Panini to our Felicia menu.

Bacon rules. Period. Our BLT's are made with bacon from happy pigs who contentedly roam a nearby farm, oblivious to the fact that they are going to be lovingly slaughtered one day. Our tomatoes and lettuce are also local (and sin-free - they come from the Amish farm). The happy eggs in the aioli are local and free-range, too. The best part: Mandy has been slaving in the kitchen to make homemade foccaccia bread.

The pizza doughs are now also house-made. Our pesto pizza will have a seasonal pesto in the summer; currently it is made with arugula, spinach and basil. While we have nixed the apple walnut and fig tapenade for the time being, we will have occasional seasonal pizza specials depending on what local vegetables are capable of growing with basically no sun and all rain since that's been the weather in Ithaca since 2001.
Being that I kind of pretty much suck in the kitchen, I rolled out some of Mandy's dough too thick and had to bring the doughs home where we cooked (burnt) them on the grill. That's what you see in the picture above. We are oven-less at home, ever since the mice infested the old oven and the new oven broke immediately after the warranty expired. Curse you, Frigidaire!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Chicken BBQ Phenomenon - Week 9

Nothing happened on Father's Day weekend. No chicken BBQs. Dads apparently don't need BBQ because they are BBQ embodied.

When I started this Chicken BBQ Phenomenon blog topic, I imagined that I would find a dozen BBQs every weekend because that's what my exaggerated mind remembered from the previous summer: small town chicken BBQs everywhere.

Maybe it's the recession. Maybe it's my memory. Maybe it's the rain. (Fashion note: Rain is the new sun in the Northeast.) At any rate, if I see one chicken BBQ on any given weekend this summer, it's a good weekend.

Despite the chicken BBQ shortage, the Trumansburg Rotary was out barbecuing chicken yesterday for July 4th, but business was slow. It's a grill-at-home-with-the-family holiday. Even I was at home grilling chicken - happy, free-range chicken.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fourth of July Cocktails

This blog post is almost stupidly late, since it's Fourth of July already, and who sits inside at the computer and reads blogs on July 4th? Oh, that would be me.

My pal Ellen at Deussen Global Communications contacted me a few weeks ago and said, "Oh, Felicia, you are my hero. If you post some of my cocktail recipes on your blog, I will love you forever, ship you free samples of every booze imaginable and send you naked pictures of me wearing nothing but a Felicia knit cap."

OK, the conversation wasn't exactly like that, but the recipes look pretty darn good so here are a few:

The American Collins

1 ½ oz. Bombay Sapphire
¾ oz. Simple Syrup
½ oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
4 Bing Cherries, pitted
8 Blueberries

In a Collins glass, muddle the blueberries and cherries in the lemon juice and simple syrup.
Add Sapphire and ice and stir briefly. Top with club soda. Garnish with a bing cherry and a lemon wheel.


3 ounces Flor de Caña 7 Year Grand Reserve Rum (we don't have this at the lounge. in fact, i've never even tried it. but if i got an email about it, it must be good, right?... right?)
1 ounce Triple Sec
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce simple syrup (boil and cool equal parts water and sugar)
4 watermelon chunks
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Whirl all ingredients together and pour into a glass. Garnish with a lime wheel. Oops! The blender is broken. I swear it's true.

Stars and Stripes

1/4oz Lucid Absinthe
1 oz Blueberry Vodka
1/4oz Simple Syrup
Splash of Lemon Juice
Drizzle of Raspberry Liqueur
Fresh Blueberries

Muddle fresh blueberries and add syrup, Lucid juice and vodka.
Add ice and shake and pour into highball glass. Drizzle Liqueur and top with Ginger Beer. Garnish with one sugar cube.

Disclaimer: I have actually not had time to try any of these yet since I have been too busy making our latest snack at the lounge, BLT Paninis. If you want one of these drinks, print out the recipe and bring it with you in case you get to the lounge tonight before I do. And bring your own berries cause I'm sure as hell not going berry picking any time soon.

God Bless America, and God Bless Bacon.


Stumble Upon Toolbar