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”.
In its homeland, the Pride of Barbados is a flowering shrub that serves as a medicine, reducing fever, healing wounds, and curing breathing ailments. I can’t say the same for the drink I made to share the name, but I can personally guarantee that it will certainly make you forget about whatever ails you.
This drink utilizes two of the Mount Gay Rum product line, combining the rich oak and tropical notes of the XO, with the young springy cane in the Eclipse. I developed this drink specifically for Mount Gay Rums, and think it’s a real winner, and hope you’ll think the same.
Pride of Barbados
- 1 ½ oz Mount Gay XO
- ½ oz Mount Gay Eclipse
- 1 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
- ¾ oz Fresh Lime Juice
- 1 oz Allspice Syrup
- 4 drops Vanilla Extract
- 1 dash Angostura Bitters
Shake with 6 ounces of Crushed Ice and pour into Chimney Glass. Garnish with Orange Ribbon and serve with a straw.
Here’s a little something I whipped up to feature Mount Gay XO. It’s a really lovely rum that sips fine, but in my opinion serves better as a backbone for some great drinks.
This drink is inspired by the venerable PiÃ±a Colada, with the addition of Passion Fruit, Lemon, and Honey to take on the more floral aspects of the Mount Gay XO.
No, the flower in the picture isn’t edible, and is possibly poisonous, but it damn sure is pretty.
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- 2 oz Mount Gay XO
- 1 ½ oz Coconut Cream (Coco Lopez)
- 1 oz Honey Mix
- 1 oz Pineapple Juice
- ¾ oz Passion Fruit Syrup (Finest Call)
- ½ oz Lemon Juice
Blend with 1 cup of crushed ice until smooth. Pour into Large Goblet or Hurricane Glass. Garnish with mint and edible flower, serve with a wide straw.
Can I get a cocktail post in here? Yes, and soon… soon as I recover from last night’s TDN.
In the meantime, a discussion of the comings and goings in my life, booze related.
We’ve deployed the Spring Cocktail Menu over at Acadia Bistro, with a few New Orleans classics, and some originals I think you’ll like. We’ve also been brewing our own ginger brew. It’s labor intensive, no kidding, but the results are so worth it. It ain’t the Colonel’s Shandy with no wussy Ginger Ale!
- 2 oz Bourbon
- ½ Lemon
- 2 dashes Rhubarb Bitters
- tsp Simple Syrup
Build over rocks in a tall Chimney Glass, and top with 1/2 Pilsner and 1/2 Ginger Beer. Give it a bit of a stir, and garnish with a Horse’s Neck.
Besides this dandy, you’ll find the classic New Orleans cocktails the P’lace de Armes, a New Orleans Style Jack Rose (with Peychauds Bitters), and Tchoupitoulas Street Guzzle. The originals Bulle a MontÃ© (the bubble rose), which combines housemade Rose/Hibiscus Liqueur with a lovely Gruet Methode Champenoise, the Fleur de Lis, a take on the Pink Lady with house made Orgeat in place of Grenadine, and featuring a PDT inspired Fleur de Lis stencil on top. Of course the classic Sazerac and other popular Acadian libations are still there. Drop on in sometime and say hi.
In other news, I’ve been accepted into the Tales of the Cocktail Cointreau Apprentice Program. What does this mean for you? Probably little. What does this mean for me? A lot of hard work in New Orleans this year, that’s for damned sure. I’ll be joining my buddies Erik and David, and a great list of other bartenders in this program. Like I didn’t sweat enough in New Orleans last year.
And in other other news, I’ve registered for the next B.A.R. 5-day program coming up this Fall in New York. Again, what this means for you? Bo diddly, I’m just sharing. With any luck, I’ll have a nice write up of some places in NY I’ve been itching to go to for the past year or two.
So, it looks like my year is pretty much setup to keep me incredibly busy. How you doing?
I just got back from what has to have been one of the best experiences I have ever had, the Grand Marnier Mixology Summit.
Before I really hunker down and talk about it, I’d thought I’d share one of the drinks I submitted, and made for my consulting lab, the Sweet Ron Swizzle. This drinks takes a few classic pairings (Herbsaint:Bitters, Orgeat: Rum), and adds a touch of Navan to really drive the Vanilla out of the rest of the ingredients. Little did I know going into the lab that the Navan formula had recently changed to make it a bit drier. The good news is, it made the drink better! There are a lot of sweet ingredients in here, and the drier Navan and a heavy hand of citrus really help to drive the flavor. I like it, I hope you do too.
Sweet Ron Swizzle
- 2 oz Ron Matusalem 15
- 1 oz Lemon Juice
- ½ oz Maple Syrup
- ½ oz Orgeat
- ½ oz Navan
- 2 dash Angostura Bitters
- 4 drops Pastis
Build all ingredients with crushed ice. Swizzle with Lele Stick or bar spoon. Garnish with a ridiculously long Orange Spiral.
Oh, and here’s something fun for you iphone fanatics out there, the GM Cocktails app (link goes to app store). This little doozy of an app contains all of the winning recipes submitted for the Grand Marnier Mixology Summit. All of my drinks are in there, and there are a ton of great drinks from all over North America (and occassionally beyond).