Oh, it feels so good to stretch out the ol’ typin’ fingers and get back into the blogosphere. It’s been a busy few months here at TraderTiki headquarters, with the new syrups line, Tiki Nights at Teardrop Lounge in Portland and Vessel in Seattle, and a new job at… well, we can talk about all that later. For now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty with a lovely bowl of punch.
Fred over at Cocktail Virgin Slut will be hosting this iteration of the long running Mixology Monday, with this iteration featuring Tea! Tea is an ingredient I’ve long… well, for a few years at least, been ballyhooing as a wonderful ingredient. I first had a tippler’s tea in Pequod Punch, a drink from Jeff Berry’s Intoxica. The drink was so well received by me that… well, I received perhaps a bit too much. The tea and rum combination, so smooth and subtle, inspired my Veilleés Punch, and a few other ephemeral cocktails.
While in New York last year, I was treated to a great delight in the form of a simple Arrack punch using sugar, lime, Batavia Arrack, water, and just a sprinkle of nutmeg. Arrack’s unique flavor punches through the combination of citrus and sugar, and even watered down it still packs quite the whallop of taste. I thought I’d take this as inspiration to make a simple Arrack and Tea punch I like to call VOC Batavia Punch, named for the cursed ship Batavia of the Dutch East India Company, which suffered a mutiny, shipwreck, and several murders on its maiden voyage. Was this punch to blame? Who can say, but take a sip and lets find out.
VOC Batavia Punch, for one
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- zest of 1/2 lemon
In a shaking tin, create an oleo saccharum by using a muddler to grind the sugar against the lemon, which should extract the oil. Muddle/Grind and leave for 2 minutes, to allow absorption.
In the same shaking tin, pour in
- 1 1/2 oz Batavia Arrack
- 3/4 oz Bols Genever
- 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
- 2 1/4 oz Strong Black Tea (cold)
Shake with plenty of cubed ice and pour into a 15oz glass. Garnish with a splash of nutmeg and lemon wheel, serve with straws.
For a punchbowl, use 1 Tbsp sugar per the zest of 1 lemon, 1 whole lemon zest per 2 drinks. Combine 2 parts Batavia Arrack, 1 parts Bols Genever, 1 part fresh lime juice, 3 parts Black tea, over a block of ice that is at least 1/2 the final volume of the the punch.
Like any good punch, this one goes down smooth and gets one stinkin’ real quick-like. The Arrack and Genever combo creates a striking flavor, something I can only describe as a rich funk. This is calmed by the smooth, oily tea, and balanced with the lime and sugar. Beware though, a cup full too many and you may find yourself shipwrecked, and like the poor botswain of the VOC Batavia, executed for “outrageous behavior”.
Yes, another Mandatory Monthly cocktail blog post. This time, made even mandatorier as it’s hosted by one of my favorite bearded behatted gents on the internets, Matt Robold of RumDood.com! Since I stole his subject earlier this year (all part of my grand scheme), he’s decided to go the spicy route and chose ginger!
Ginger Beer is a nice and spicy ingredient, of which there are about 3 choices in any regional market, for a total of about 50 billion or so. I’m sure you’ll see a few recipes out there even just in this wrap up. I was almost half-tempted just to make this post a redirect to Jeff Morgenthaler’s How to Make your own Ginger Beer. But, since I started using his recipe to make my own (others have… failed), I have come across a few changes I like to make in mine to make it my own. I haven’t gone back to buying Ginger Beer yet.
Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s Blair’s Ginger Brew
- 1 part Ginger Juice
- 2 parts Lemon Juice
- 2 parts Simple Syrup
- 1 tsp Allspice
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp yeast (brewing or champagne preferred, but anything will work) per liter
Juice your Ginger fresh in any convenient juicer. It takes awhile, and thanks to the fiber, your juicer will likely get jammed a few times. The effort is rough, but worth it. Stir all ingredients together in a large foodsafe plastic container, such as used in kitchen prep. Top with a lid and sit in a room temp, slightly dark area, such as on a shelf or under a counter, for 72 hours. Once your time is up, uncap, filter, and put in cold storage to inhibit the yeast growth. After a few hours in the fridge, you should hear a nice burp. EZ-cap bottles are definitely the bottle of choice. This creates a super spicy, super sharp ginger brew.
So, at this point you’ve either made that (recommended), or picked up some store bought. Well, if you don’t think 3 hours of effort, 3 days of waiting, and the cost of fresh ingredients is worth it, so be it. I’d recommend Ginger People, Cock and Bull, or Bundaberg. Now you’re hip for nay Dark and Stormies, Moscow Mules, Mamie Taylors and so on. But if you’re here and into Tiki, I think you know what may be coming next… you BASTARD.
One of my favorite Tiki Drinks, if only for the name (the flavors, if mixed wrong can be… off-putting) is the Suffering Bastard. We featured these drinks during last years Tiki Tuesday events, and the reception was warm for this slightly bitter strongly cooling drink. Thinking that was the end of its story, I then chanced upon Robert Simonson’s post on the Beachbum’s Visit to NYC. Here, he described the Dead Bastard, another drink by master mixologist Joe Scialom. This is the third of its cousins (the suffering and dying being the other), and I think it’s just… tops. As Robert Describes it, it’s a bit of a Tiki Long Island, featuring four types of booze, a few other knick-nacks, and finished off with a generous dallop of ginger beer.
- 1/2 oz Gin
- 1/2 oz Brandy
- 1/2 oz Bourbon
- 1/2 oz Rum
- 1/2 oz Rose’s lime juice
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 4 ounces of chilled ginger beer
Shake Gently with 1 cup Crushed Ice, pour into Goblet or other large vessel. Garnish with whatever the hell, it’s dead and doesn’t care. I used a whole lime. It’s a big drink.
Combined with the Ginger Beer above, this makes for a killer diller of a drink, like a feather that knocks you flat on your feet. If you’re questioning the Rose’s Lime, see Robert Simonson’s post above. Just about everything has its place, and in respect to the original recipe, I used Rose’s Lime Juice. If it makes you feel any better, I garnished with an entire freaking lime, so at least some fruit was destroyed for the sake of the drink. For some reason, I couldn’t find the Brandy today, so I reached for Brandy of the apple variety (Laird’s) instead, and oh what a wonderful difference, adding a bit more fruit to the drink.
Well, here’s to hoping you go through the heck of a process to make Ginger Beer (or Brew, whatever), to see what the fuss is all about. Worth it in my opinion, but, even better if you can get someone else to make it for you. Cheers!
Bonjourno, folks, to another exciting Mixology Monday, this time hosted by the venerable Chuck Taggart of GumboPages.com. If you haven’t been to his site and tried a few of his recipes, you really ought to.
Chuck decided this round should be dedicated to the various Amari of Italy. Amaro, roughly translated, is Italian for “Bitter”, and Amari are often served as digestivs, straight or with a bit of tonic water. Bartenders and Imbibers alike have been going pretty crazy about these “interesting” liqueurs for awhile now. Any bartender worth his salt would do well to keep a bottle or two on their shelves these days. I tend to keep a bottle of Fernet Branca on the shelf, for any with the interest to try something different, and something a little more gentle, such as Averna or Aperol, for interesting mixing.
I went a bit of a different route this time, with the lovely and well balanced Amaro Nardini. It starts off lightly sweet, and ends up with a lovely blend of gentian, peppermint, and licorice. I first tried this mixed at Teardrop Lounge, in my buddy David’s AKA Burro Punsch, which blends this Amaro with a Reposado Tequila, Carpano Antica, and Batavia Arrack. The combination of ingredients sounds awful, but the drink is really, really good.
Here’s my original, celebrating a full map of Italian Amari, including the Nardini, some Averna to mellow it out, then some Fernet to pop it back out. I went through a few gins, and selected Bols Genever as the base, to make it a drink you could really chew on for a bit. The Pimento Dram… well, we’ve all got to have a signature somewhere.
Amici Cattivi (Bad Friends)
- 1 1/2 BOLS Genever
- 3/4 oz Amaro Nardini
- 3/4 oz Averna
- tsp Pimento Dram
- tsp Fernet Branca
- dash Angostura Bitters
Stir with cracked ice and strain into chilled glass. Take a slice of lemon peel and rim glass, then express the oils into the drink, and discard.
The drink comes out with a color about as exciting as a cold cup of coffee, but is packed to the gills with complexity. The Amari all smooth each other out in a rather interesting way. The herbs tend to blend a bit better than drinking them straight, nothing too edgy here. Go ahead and give it a shot, I dare you. See you next month!
Nevermind the Bollocks
- 2 oz Don Julio Reposado Tequila
- 1/2 oz Martini and Rossi Sweet Vermouth
- 1/2 Loft Raspberrycello
- 1/2 tsp Cynar
- barspoon Fernet Branca
- barspoon Balsamic Maple Vinegar
- Orange Zest
Press zest onto bottom of mixing glass to release oils. Combine all ingredients, stir with cracked ice and strain.
Hard times are all around us right now. The job market is slumping, real estate values are dropping, there’s a global economic crisis looming on the horizon. What better time for a drink? Come rain or shine, they ain’t called “spirits” for nothing, and I’ve got a real dandy drink made on the cheap for this Mixology Monday, Hard Times, hosted by my good friend Matt Rowley over at Rowley’s Whiskey Forge.
The cocktail that hit my mind instantly was the Chauncey Cocktail, a favorite of mine, as introduced to me at Teardrop Lounge. In my research, the furthest back I’ve seen this referenced was in the book The Catering Industry Employee, Official Journal of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees’ International Alliance and Bartenders’ International League of America, published 1934. I didn’t quite find this in time, and used the proportions from the CocktailDB entry, which is quite good. This is an all-boozer; time is money and I haven’t the time to waste on mixers when spirits are in need of lifting. As well, the booze involved can be found pretty cheaply, as it is all base spirits. No flight of fancy liqueurs or rarities here, this one’s a mix Gin, Rye, Brandy, and Sweet Vermouth. A damned good mix as well, I must say.
- 3/4 oz Rye
- 3/4 oz Gin
- 1/2 oz Brandy
- 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
- dash Orange Bitters
Stir in a mixing glass with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
I took a special note here to use the cheapest ingredients I could get my mitts on, and rounded up the cost for you. Without counting ice, barware and glassware, this drunk will run you a kingly sum of $1.05, American. I suppose the nickel over the greenback makes this a bit fancy of a cocktail (though not a “fancy” cocktail), and I could have gone a touch cheaper, but you’ve got to treat yourself every once in awhile. Despite the low cost, this is a delicious drink that makes even the cheap stuff taste like heaven (well, bootlegger’s heaven). If you do happen to find yourself back in dough, try it with the fancy stuff. It gets even better.
Muchos Mahalos to Rowley for hosting this MxMo, and we’ll see you next round!