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”.
Another month, another MxMo, so they say. And who are they? I cannot say. But for sure, this is a challenging MxMo idea, as hosted by The Scribe over at A Mixed Dram. So, broaden my horizons, eh? Well, the first thing that came to mind was, thankfully, the first thing in the description, Tequila!
As happens to so many of us, a bad incedent with Tequila at a tender age involving a few Margaritas in red solo cups, little people dressed as KISS, and a hot Los Angeles day did not bode well for my favor with the spirit. I’ve come to respect it, surely, through continued application of the good stuff (Del Maguey Mezcal, Cazadores AÃ±ejo), but can’t say I’ve had anything other than a straight shot in a good decade or so.
Well, the liquor fairy arrived at my doorstep a few weeks back with a delivery of what I’m hoping will pull me out of this particular mixological slump, in the form of Inocente Platinum Tequila. Inocente is a triple distilled tequila with an emphasis on removing the “nasty bits” that can easily lead to a hangover, and arrives in a nifty blue “twist” of a bottle that could make a nifty vase, or cheap christmas present. The nose is a sweet but clear tequila scent, with a bit of pear to it. The flavor is a bit relaxed, really only coming in a moment or two into the sip, but is an unmistakable smokey, fruity tequila, with almost no burn. This is definitely a great platinum to ease my way back into tequila mixology.
To mix it up, the emphasis on the smoke and fruit will be brought out by a very simple mix of orange oil, Grand Marnier, and Regan’s Orange bitters in a drink called the Cadillac Coupe. This one’s a bit of a tribute to a chef friend of mine, who, after work, enjoys nothing more than a bit of Platinum Tequila with just a splash of “Grandma” (Grand Marnier).
- 2 oz Platinum Tequila
- 1 oz Grand Marnier
- Regan’s Orange Bitters
- small square piece of orange peel
Rinse a chilled cocktail glass with a 3 dashes of orange bitters. Stir the spirits with ice until well chilled, and strain into the glass. Finish by flaming a bit of orange oil over the surface of the drink. This can be accomplished by slicing an inch by inch piece of peel from an orange, holding it over a flame over the drink, and giving a generous squeeze. This will release the oils, and create lovely aromatics, as well as a real crowd-pleasing burst of flame.
The drink is a kick, don’t get me wrong, but the smooth tequila and Grand Marnier mix incredibly well, just as they would in a Cadillac Margarita, of which this is a condensed version (none of that cheap garbage, just booze please!). The flavors are primarily smoke, and orange, with a nice silken mouthfeel from the stirring.
Got your own mixological challenge, a spirit not stumbled upon, or liqueur not liked? Trying mixing it up sometime, there’s nothing like a good challenge to stir your spirits!
Oh Stevi, what have ye done? What mad Pandora’s box has been opened as the entire cocktail blogosphere confesses their sins as Lemon Drop downing Sour Apple Pucker Fans. Okay, it hasn’t gotten that bad, but there are a few confessors in this MxMo Guilty Pleasures that I’m on the borderline of giving a comforting hug, a Vieux CarrÃ©, and a brief smack upside the head.
Of course, I deserve a bit of a smack up the head myself (okay, an entire reenactment of the Three Stooges career, but anyway), as I’ve got my own niggling demons of self-doubt, as splayed before you below.
Okay, so I’ve been known to arrive at a party or two, here and there, when the need to roam outside of the Galley seizes me. Inevitably, my repayment for the inevitable smashed window or glass is, of course, bringing something for the Tiki-lovin’ tipplers (I keep my friends close, and drunk on Rum). Being the lazy bastard I am though entails bringing something simple, universally delicious, and that can be made without any more effort than I’d be able to put into it after the first few rounds. My fall back is Jeff Berry’s Coconaut, as published in the Grog Log.
- 8 oz Coconut Cream
- 2 oz Lime Juice
- 7 oz Myers Dark
Fill Blender with Ice and Blend for 20 seconds or until smooth. Recipe serves 2-4. Garnish with Lime Shell filled with 151 for a “Flaming Re-entry”
“But Trader Tiki,” as one may ask, “what is so guilty about that? It’s Tiki, it’s by a noted mixologist, what could cause you such shame?”. Well, ladies and gentlemen, fasten your monocles for these shocking revelations.
Revelation the first: I *LOVE* Tiki Mugs. You may not have noticed that I don’t do a helluva lot of pics with tiki mugs. Part of this is due to my, shall we say, collector’s dire fear of losing them to the concrete floor of the galley forever. I’ll make excuses about wanting to honor the drink, show color, frost… bah, whatever. Give me something in ceramic and I’m a happy fellow. For all the this and thats about it, Tiki mugs have been around for quite some time, and evoke a lot of happy memories for me. You can actually see a few of my collection over at Ooga Mooga. There are a few unlisted though, everyone has their own private stash of something.
Revelation the second: Fire Fire Fire! Set a beverage on fire, chances are you’ll see my eyes light up. Like so many of the other native urges, it’s just a primal thing. I do a few fire flicking tricks at home and abroad, and know the pain of not being quick enough with the 151, but it still amazes me when I see a creative new way to set liquid ablaze.
Revelation the third and final: Coconut Cream! It seems whether a person dislikes coconut, tiki drinks, rum, or anything else I’m generally passionate about, they love anything made with coconut cream, and I’m just as big a goober about it. It’s the Tiki equivalent of driving a marathon, no complexity or mysterious combinations, just straight up front sugary goodness.
There are a few other things hiding in there… specifically calling for Meyers’ Dark which I once rallied so against, the simplicity of it, the (oh noes!) use of a blender… but no, I fear I can take no more of this confessional. At least, and I can say this with all truth, I am not a Jimmy Buffet fan. There, I’ve taken a little bit back there, and feel a bit better. Here’s to hoping my pride gets back into strength for the next Mixology Monday. See you then!
“I’m tired of Gin, I’m tired of Sin, and after last night, oh boy, am I tired.“
Yes, ladies and/or gentlemen, another month has passed, and the next Mixology Monday is already nigh past! This month’s, hosted by Jay at Oh Gosh!, leads us through the very exciting world of Gin.
My personal favorite, other than the only 1/4 oz sampled Bluecoat, has to be the locally made Aviation Gin. This is just fantastic stuff, very aromatic and delicately balanced, but still man enough to put some hair on your chest, or wherever you might find yourself in need of warmth. Changed my Gin Fizzes for life, I can tell you that much.
Now, being that this is could be considered a primarily Tiki drink site, Gin, well, didn’t find itself a primary liquor in too many, or, pretty much any drinks. It’s in the Fog Cutter, Colonel’s Big Opu, Suffering Bastard… oh, wait a moment. It is the primary in a Trade Winds cocktail (Grog Log, p. 84). Well, seeing as the drinking’s done for the night, I may have to do a second post on that one later. For this MxMo, I decided to roll with a Trader Vic original, the Gilded Lily.
- 1/2 oz. Modern Dry Gin (Aviation Gin recommended)
- 1/2 oz. Puerto Rican Rum (sub. Cruzan White)
- 1/2 oz. Peach Brandy
- 1/2 oz. Orange Juice
Shake and strain into cocktail glass.
It’s a nice light cocktail, and I love the fact that it’s a good two ouncer, not so much of the tipple as not to be able to put together sentences, but just enough to think the ones you do put together are quite charming indeed. If you can make any sense out of that last sentence, you may need another drink. Yes, the umbrella with the orange twist may be a bit much, but for this drink I think there’s no harm in gilding the lily.
One issue with the above drink though, the Gin shares an equal part with the Rum! Vic, ever the Rum fetishist, has failed me in trying to make a nice, entirely gin-centric write-up. Oh well, guess I may have to roll my own on this one. I must admit, inspiration had struck from the blogosphere today… and if I ever type that word again, slap me upside the head with a Gin and Tonic. Craig had a recent post on Ceylon Cinnamon, and Scottes somehow forced me out of the bar to pick up some Ginger Beer. Well, why not have the two shake hands over a nice bit of Gin? So I whipped up this little concoction, the Gin and Cin.
Gin and Cin
- 2 oz. Aviation Gin
- 1 oz. Ceylon Cinnamon Syrup
- 1/2 oz. Lemon Juice
- 2 dashes fee bitters
- 1/4 tsp Fresh grated Ginger
- Ginger Beer (Ginger People STRONGLY advised)
Shake all ingredients except Ginger Beer in a shaker, strain into ice-filled chimney glass. Top with Ginger People Ginger Beer. Garnish with ginger slices and powdered cinnamon.
This is a great digestive, and damned tasty drink, with the spicy ginger giving a sharp spike of flavor, while the Ceylon cinnamon keeps the taste buds active. The lemon provides a touch of a sour note, and the gin and bitters wrap all the notes together. Oh, and you might want to get some Ceylon syrup together, here’s the deal:
Ceylon Cinnamon Syrup
- 1 part water (16 oz. by volume)
- 1 part organic cane sugar (16 oz. by volume)
- bag (4 sticks) Ceylon Cinnamon
Put all ingredients in a pot on the stove. Let simmer covered for 15 minutes or so, cool, strain and bottle.
That stuff will go fantastic in any Nui Nui, Jet Pilot, so on an so forth. Hell, pour it on some waffles, it’s just damned good.