Pickled Rose
Food and art, mutually inspired.



John here. Last night, Becky invented a seriously awesome cocktail. It's called "Shanghaied." 

Shanghaiing is the once-common practice of kidnapping people, throwing them on a ship bound for the other side of the ocean, and giving them the option of serving on the crew for the duration of the voyage, or swimming home. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this was to get a sailor good and drunk, and take them on the ship after they pass out. Since moving to San Francisco, we've both been fascinated with the more unsavory elements of the town's early history. I can think of few things more unsavory than Shanghaiing. 

Becky decided to make an homage to this deplorable practice, which I definitely do not condone (well....I wouldn't say "homage," exactly, but...screw it. Yes I would.). And we don't live in the Gold Rush days anymore. I doubt the average San Franciscan would be of much use on a ship. After waking up in the cargo hold, and figuring out what's going on, they'd probably start snapping photos with their iPhone, delighting in how retro the whole situation is, and enjoying it ironically.

Anyway, I doubt the crimps of old ever used a cocktail like this to get somebody aboard a ship, but they certainly could have. This thing packs a serious punch, and is incredibly smooth. If I were possessed of less restraint, I might have gotten myself into trouble with these (oh, who am I kidding? There were 5 of us, and we ran out of vodka.)

In all seriousness, have a designated driver if you plan on being in the same room as one of these drinks.


Warning: fire hazard


Makes 2 servings

  • 2 lemon wedges
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 4 oz. Absolut Wild Tea vodka
  • Juice of 2 Mandarin oranges
  • 4-6 mint leaves
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • Ginger beer

In a cocktail shaker, thoroughly muddle the mint leaves, lemon wedges, and sugar along with some ice cubes. Add the remaining ingredients, except the ginger beer.

Shake for 30 seconds, strain into two chilled martini glasses, and top off with cold ginger beer. Garnish with mint leaves and/or a lemon wedge, if desired. Serve immediately, while still ice cold. 

These drinks went very well with dinner last night. For my birthday, Becky got me a great Chinese cookbook, and a set of bamboo steamers. We had some friends over last night, and tried our hands at dim sum for the first time. The results were pretty good for a first attempt. But I won't be posting the recipes yet, because I feel they still need some work. 

Dim Sum

Crab rangoons and steamed pork buns. 

I'll definitely be experimenting with some more authentic Chinese recipes. And, yes, I'm aware that the crab rangoon is about as Chinese as, well, a dish that involves mixing crab meat with cream cheese and deep frying it.