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Archive for the ‘David Wondrich’ Category

If you checked out this week’s Dig column, you know we are hot for Hot Toddy’s this week. This is for several reasons:

1. The weather has been sucking.

2. Some of us have been battling colds and still believe the toddy, when made with brandy or a peat-y scotch whisky, to be actual medicine.

3. Hot Toddy is the chosen cocktail moniker of one of our newest members! Welcome to the Lady Lush club, girl!

We also mentioned in this week’s column that the Skin, the Sling, and the Sangaree are cousins of the Toddy (which could be taken hot or cold back in the day.) Such names! In a nutshell, here’s what makes each drink, and what makes them a little different (as explained in great, enlightening detail in David Wondrich’s IMBIBE):

  • The basic Toddy recipe, as given in David Wondrich’s IMBIBE, was believed to be of Scotch descent and was quite simple: 1 teaspoon sugar, 3-4 oz water, 2 oz spirits, stirred with a spoon. Writes Wondrich, the toddy “is a simple drink in the same way a tripod is a simple device: Remove one leg and it cannot stand, set it up properly and it will hold the whole weight of the world.”
  • The Whisky Skin is little more than a Hot Toddy + a strip of lemon peel, minus the sugar and is believed to be of Irish origin: 2 oz whiskey, 1 piece of lemon peel, fill the glass half full with boiling water. Bostonians also called this drink a “Columbia Skin.”
  • The Sling is little more than a strong, cold Toddy with nutmeg: 1 teaspoonful of sugar, 1 oz water, 2 oz spirits, a lump of ice, topped with fresh grated nutmeg. In the early- to mid-1800s, the Gin Sling was the drink to have, imbibed by all, and recommended for consumption morning, noon, and night.
  • The Sangaree derives from the Spanish term Sangria, and is little more than a cold Toddy made with strong wine: 1.5 oz port wine, 1 teaspoonful of sugar, fill tumbler 2/3 with ice, shake well and top with grated nutmeg.

So go forth and make copious amounts of delicious drinks this holiday season, wherever it is that you end up. Because no matter how dismal things might seem when you open Grandma’s liquor cabinet and find a bunch of dusty bottles staring back at you, the moral of the story is: some booze in a glass with a little water and some spice and is probably going to taste pretty damn good.

And for you culinary folks, why not try a Hot Buttered Rum? Yum. Here’s Dale DeGroff’s recipe:

HOT BUTTERED RUM
1 oz dark rum or spiced rum
1 oz light rum
.75 oz simple syrup
.5 tablespooon Holiday Compound Butter (below)
Cinnamon stick for garnish

In a goblet glass, combine the dark and light rums with the syrup. Add the hot water and stir to mix. Add the butter, stir a couple of times to start to melt it, and garnish with the cinnamon stick.

HOLIDAY COMPOUND BUTTER

The yield here is huge – scale/adjust accordingly*** depending on how many of these you want to drink.

Soften 1 lb unsalted butter in a mixing bowl. Add 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg, 1 tsp ground allspice, .5 tsp cloves, and .25 cup dark brown sugar. Mix well to thoroughly combine. Using a sheet of wax paper, form the butter mixture into a log or rectangle – your choice – and place in the refrigerator to set. When the butter is firm you can slice it into individual serving pats of .5 tablespoon apiece, or just cut up as needed to serve. Either way let the butter soften and warm up before serving.

***I have the vague sense that you could add some amount of baking powder, egg, flour and vanilla to the leftovers and make some sort of cookies. Maybe something like these?

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by Pink Lady

Hanky Panky’s column in this week’s Dig advocates building your home bar on a cocktail by cocktail basis: each week, choose a favorite cocktail and purchase the items necessary to mix it at home. With this method, you will never be left wondering what you can mix with the items you have on hand while adding to your encyclopedic knowledge of cocktail recipes. Below are some recipes to help get you started, economically of course — who knows what will happen to the market next.

For gin, we recommended the Hearst. You’ll need all of these ingredients for many other cocktails, so its a great way to invest your money from the start.

HEARST
2 ounces London dry gin
1 ounce Italian vermouth
dash of orange bitters
dash of Angostura bitters

Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon oil.

This Boston original gets a bottle of rye in your liquor cabinet, and fresh grenadine in your fridge. Where they both belong.

WARD EIGHT
2 ounces rye whisky
.75 ounce lemon juice
.75 ounce orange juice
1 teaspoon grenadine

Shake ingredients with cracked ice in a cocktail shaker; strain into a chilled cocktail glass and enjoy, or strain it over cracked ice in a highball & top off with seltzer. Refreshing! (This is David Wondrich’s Esquire version of the drink. There is much debate over whether the proper recipe for this drink: I invite you to try on your own and leave feedback!)

The Hibiscus cocktail is a great way to deal with some light rum and make sure you’ve got French vermouth in the cabinet, too.

HIBISCUS
From Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide, Revised.
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1 teaspoon French vermouth
1 teaspoon grenadine
1.5 oz light Puerto Rican Rum
Shake with ice cubes. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

This LUPEC Boston namesake will trick out your liquor cabinet with a few fun extra ingredients, and make tequila feel quite at home among the other bottles.

PINKY GONZALES
(As adapted from Trader Vic’s recipe by LUPEC Boston member, Pinky Gonzales in the Little Black Book of Cocktails.)
2.5 oz tequila blanco
.5 oz fresh lime juice
.5 os orange Curacao
.25 oz agave nectar
.25 oz orgeat syrup
2 cups crushed ice
1 sprig mint & .5 squeezed lime for garnish

Shake all ingredients and pour into a tiki mug or tall glass filled with crushed ice and the reserved 1/2 lime. Garnish with mint sprig & straw.

Oh, how your liquor cabinet grows!


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by Pink Lady

While putting together this week’s Weekly Dig column on syrups I became intrigued about the origins of grenadine. This delicious pomegranate syrup is a key ingredient in both my namesake cocktail AND my favorite kiddie cocktail (the Shirley Temple). But when, exactly, did this delicious syrup become a fashionable mixer?

While writing about the Daisy in Imbibe, David Wondrich refers to the cocktail circa the 1870s as “something of a dude’s drink, a little bit of fanciness that came empinkened with grenadine.” Maybe it started then-ish?

Who knows. The I could find little data on who innovated the use of grenadine in cocktails, but a few of the following, totally unrelated facts popped up repeatedly as I searched:

  • There is a chain of Islands located in the Caribbean that share the same name as the delicious syrup. Nary a pomegranate grows on these islands, though. Nor to they grow on the adjacent island of Grenada.
  • The French word for pomegranate? La grenade. The Spanish word? La Granada. There is some speculation that these islands got their name from early settlers who thought the island’s shape resembled that of the fruit. I mean, maybe that happened…
  • There is an odd/fascinating legal situation a-brew wherein Grenada and/or the Grenadine islands are looking to claim rights to the name of the ruby red syrup, thus profiting from the sales of Grenadine with a capital “G”. Read more about it here.

Irrelevant facts aside, some more recipes for the stuff can be found at the end of this post.

I also learned that “Simple Syrup” is pretty much anything but, thanks to an illuminating article chemist-turned-mixologist Darcy O’Neil contributed to the first edition of Mixologist: The Journal of the American Cocktail.

The task at hand will always involve dissolving sugar in water, of course. But the method by which you do so — over heat, or hot process, vs. cold process — will have a dramatic effect on the flavor & consistency of your syrup. Heated syrup will be thinner, due to a higher presence of fructose, whereas syrup dissolved at room temperature will be nice and thick, and 100% sucrose. Rather than butchering Mr. O’Neil’s eloquent explanation, I suggest you purchase a copy of the book and check out his excellent blog. In the interim, here are simple syrup recipes for you to play around with.

As with all things cocktail, make a few batches, try ‘em in a few cocktails, and use whichever suits you best.

Simple Syrup:

A cold-process shakey-shakey method from King Cocktail, Dale Degroff
from the Craft of the Cocktail

Fill a cork bottle halfway with superfine sugar, the other half with water. Shake vigorously until most of the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. It will remain cloudy for 5 minutes; after it clears, shake again briefly and it is ready to use. Stored in the refrigerator between uses, Simple Syrup will last for several weeks.

Darcy O’Neil’s Simple Syrup
from Mixologist: the Journal of the American Cocktail

Ingredients: 2 cups sugar 2 cups water, 1/4- cup corn syrup, 1000 ML bottle (with milliliters marks on the side)

Add 2 – cups of water to a pan and bring it to a simmer, 122 – 140 degrees Fahrenheit, or ’til it’s just slightly too hot to put your finger in for more than a few seconds. Add 2 cups of table sugar and 1/4 cup of corn syrup and leave on heat for 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat, stir until all is dissolved. Let solution cool then add to a bottle. Fill the bottle up to 1000 ML and shake.

NOTE: To try this recipe cold process, add sugar, water, and corn syrup to a 1000 ML bottle and shake ’til all is dissolved. Top off with water.

Grenadine:

A cold process shakey-shakey method from David Wondrich’s Killer Cocktails
borrowed from Paul Clarke’s Cocktail Chronicles

Take one cup of pomegranate juice, and place it in a jar with one cup of granulated sugar. Seal tightly and shake like hell until all of the sugar is dissolved. Add another ounce or two of sugar and repeat.

Clarke suggests: Adding an ounce of high-proof vodka or grain alcohol as a preservative, and storing in a plastic container in the freezer: “the high volume of sugar keeps it from freezing, and you can just tip out a little frigid syrup each time you need it.” Thanks, Paul!

Cin-cin!

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