Stream Date: Marvel’s ‘Luke Cage’

Photo: Netflix

Television has evolved over the years from adhering to schedules to the freedom to watch anything at anytime virtually anywhere. 
More and More television shows are designed to be binge watched as opposed to waiting week after week to catch the new episode. So if your planning to hunker down with some friends and bust through a series, why not make a whole night out of it?

Each month we meet up to binge through an acclaimed series, whip up some awesome boozy cocktails, and create a delicious meal!

WHO ARE WE?

Parker Boase – writer, mad scientist, party host, and co-founder of Liquid Lab NYC, (New York’s premiere mixology events company, specializing in menu design for Bars and Restaurants, Mixology Classes, and Custom Cocktails)

Gregory Lucas – Cocktail master, 1/2 man 1/2 bear 1/2 pig, night lifer, 
& Co-Founder of Liquid Lab NYC (same as above; @LiquidLabNYC)

Chef Sam Caucci – navy vet, evil genius, master of perogis, king of culinary 

Each Month we will be making delicious custom cocktails inspired by the show we are binging and share the recipe with you to easily make at home. 
Sam will be showing off his culinary skills with unique but simple recipes also inspired by our show of choice

WHAT ARE WE WATCHING?

LUKE CAGE (Season 1) – With Season 2 premiering on 6/22 its time to get your binging in before the premiere, why not enjoy a fantastic cocktail and delicious dish inspired by Season One while you tackle the 13 hours of bulletproof drama ahead of you.



A little bit about the show… 
(We won’t get into too many specifics but MINOR SPOILERS ahead) 

Luke Cage is a Marvel Series on Netflix and started as a spin-off from the already popular Jessica Jones, which then lead into Iron Fist, which then lead into The Defenders where they all meet up with the already established Daredevil. 
Are you confused yet? Me too. Its a fun trick Marvel does with their TV shows and films that basically forces you to watch all of them to follow the next one, kudos to Marvel for being masters of marketing, cross promotion, and FOMO manipulation. 

Anywho, Luke Cage is the story of…well Luke Cage…a man who, while incarcerated for a crime that he didn’t commit, is the subject of an experiment gone awry that gives him super strength and bulletproof skin.

He inevitably breaks out of prison and attempts to lay low and create a modest lifestyle for himself working odd jobs in Harlem. We learn a lot of this from flashbacks over the course of Season 1, Luckily for us his attempts at keeping a low profile doesn’t last too long otherwise it would be a really boring series. Luke Cage is anything but boring. The show earned itself an Emmy for Stunts last year which should tell you a bit about the action you can expect if you haven’t seen it yet. 
The show is filled with deeply developed characters, and some great performances from some very talented actors. Notably Cage himself (Mike Colter) who anchors the series, “Cottonmouth” Stokes (Mahershala Ali) the gangster who owns “Harlem’s Paradise” the bar where much of the tension happens throughout the season, to his bitter little bitch of a half brother “Diamondback” (Erik LaRay Harvey) who plays the antagonist for most of the second half of the season. We also get an awesome performances from Alfre Woodard and Rosario Dawson…

Its a very grounded and relatively realistic superhero show, 
we highly recommend checking this one out if you are a Marvel Fan. With all of that out of the way, Lets get into the fun stuff!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?

Much of the seasons drama circulated around “Harlem’s Paradise” the bar where Cage worked part time (in the beginning of the series) and where various murders, crimes, and villains took control, we thought we would play into the themes of Harlem and mischief, so we wanted to create a cocktail that “stings” by utilizing some of our favorite summer ingredients to create our loose twist on a classic “Bees Knees”. Tying it back into the series, a couple of these babies will make you feel bulletproof (but you aren’t so don’t be stupid!)

About a “Bees Knees” – a Prohibition era slang term for “the best” or being “at the height of greatness” this cocktail has existed for almost 100 years and continues to be a staple and speakeasy style cocktail bars around the world. Many cocktails from the prohibition era used intense flavors to mask the taste of illegally produced bathtub gin that was readily available because frankly during prohibition many gins apparently tasted like a mixture of Pinesol and Antifreeze. This is a wonderful example of a balanced classic cocktail thats survived the test of time. We’re suckers for anything involving honey so this is a personal favorite.

See our loose play on the classic below, we’re calling it…

HARLEM’S PARADISE

1.5 oz. Gin *we used “Greenhook Ginsmiths” One of my favorites; distilled locally in Brooklyn

 0.75 oz. Habanero Infused Honey Syrup*this sounds complicated but its actually quiteeasy to put together, see recipe below

0.75 oz. White Grapefruit Juice*this works as our citrus element and bitters outsome of the sweet elements in the cocktail

3 Dashes of Angostura BittersCream Soda Mint & Cherry

RECIPE: 
In the glass end of a Boston Shaker… 
Add Liquid ingredients with the exception of the
Cream Soda/Mint/Cherry/Bitters 
Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously until frost
begins to collect on the side of the shaker. 
Strain over fresh ice into rocks glass and
top with a splash of cream soda, and
a couple of dashes of bitters. Garnish with a Mint “Bouquet” and Brandied Cherry (Fabbri or Luxardo are great choices) ENJOY!!!

*Habanero Infused Honey Syrup Recipe – Combine 1 cup of water – 1 cup of grade a Honey – Crack one small Habanero Chili – boil ingredients together and steep for about 10 minutes – Chill and serve

WHAT ARE WE EATING?

When Chef Sam was thinking of the perfect dish to accompany Luke Cage, he considered the main setting and tried to play off of its unique vibe with a really amazing dish that should lead to a much-welcome food coma. It looks complex but the recipe is surprisingly simple. If you follow this recipe in detail theres no way you won’t get the perfect cook on your New York Strip.

GOURMET CHOPPED CHEESE PASTRAMI SANDWICH WITH SWISS BÉCHAMEL

Since Luke Cage takes place in Harlem and bodegas (corner stores) are quintessential to New York City. It’s appropriate to consider a few staple sandwiches that New Yorkers love. So I combined a pastrami sandwich with a classic chopped cheese and made it into a mega sandwich with a gourmet twist.

Ingredients:

1 pound of chuck round or top round beef

1/2 pound of pastrami meat (NY delis have an exceptional quality of pastrami at hand. So try to find the best quality you can.)

Stone ground mustardButter pickles or deli pickles

1/2 pound of shredded Swiss cheese

2 table spoons of all purpose flour

4 table spoons of butter

1/2 teaspoon of white pepper

1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

Pinch of nutmeg2 cups of milk

Fresh loaf of baguette bread

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

Worcestershire sauce

Directions for beef:Let beef come to room 
temperature on a cutting 
board. Using a meat tenderizer, 
tenderize all areas of beef so it is
 easy to chop in the pan. Cut 
pieces of beef into 1/8-1/4
 cubes so it mirrors a mince type
 look. Season with salt and
 pepper before cooking.
 Place a sauté pan on medium
 high heat. Pour about a
 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan to coat the bottom of the
 pan. Toss in a tablespoon of 
butter in pan and let melt. When
 your beef is room temperature,
 place into pan and start browning.
 This cooks got about 5-7 minutes.
While cooking, add red pepper flakes, 
Worcestershire sauce (a few dashes) and garlic powder. Beef should be seasoned well and browned completely.

Swiss Béchamel:

Using a small saucepan, warm 2 cups of milk at a low heat. In another medium sauce pan on medium low heat, put 1 tablespoon of butter in and let melt. Once butter is melted, add 2 tablespoons of flour in. Using a wooden spoon, combine the flour and butter until all the white flour is no longer showing. The consistency will look like a paste. Then, with a whisk, slowly pour in the warm milk which will slowly dissolve the flour/butter mixture. Once all the milk is incorporated, keep stirring the sauce until it reduces to about half. This process should take 5 minutes on medium heat. Once sauce reduces, add in your shredded Swiss cheese whisking it at the same time. The sauce should be creamy and like a fondu. Add a pinch of nutmeg, your 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper and salt to taste. Set aside on lowest heat with a lid. Checking the sauce every so often.

Directions for pastrami:

If you bought your pastrami or made it yourself, we bought really good quality pastrami, just heat it up in the microwave. or on a nonstick pan for a few minutes until it is warm.

Directions for baguette:

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut baguette into desired portions. Heat in the oven for 3-5 minutes until lightly crispy.

Sandwich assembly:Lather the bottom side of the bread with stone ground mustard. Put a few scoops of the beef on the bread. Place pieces of pastrami on top of beef. Smother the sandwich with the lush Béchamel, place a butter pickle on top of that.

With a hearty “Sweet Christmas!” we hope you enjoy your binging experience, and especially hope you enjoy our recipes. Stay tuned for more shows, more booze concoctions by @LiquidLabNYC, and more delicious bites from Chef Sam.