Vintage Cocktails #42: Have A Heart Cocktail

Originally published in Official Mixers Manual (Patrick Duffy, 1934), our next cocktail shares a name with a forgotten movie of the same year. Similar to the Doctor Cocktail, this cocktail also pairs a base spirit with Swedish Punsch and lime juice. Gin pairs excellently with rum, and as such works wonderfully in this drink. The grenadine serves to add a bit of color and some added sweetness. Go with a big bold Gin in this one. Your tastebuds will thank you. Cheers.

Have A Heart Cocktail
1 1/2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Swedish Punsch
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Grenadine

Vintage Cocktails #41: The Doctor Cocktail

The first cocktail using my homemade Swedish Punsch will be the namesake drink of the author of Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, The Doctor Cocktail. There are several versions of this particular drink, this version coming to us courtesy of Trader Vic. This drink is an amazing combination of rum, rum based liqueur, and lime juice. Delicious.

Doctor Cocktail
2 oz Jamaican Rum
1 oz Swedish Punsch
1 oz Lime Juice

Swedish Punsch

In my quest to go through all the drinks in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails I have had to search out several hard to find ingredients.  However there are several ingredients that are simply not available in the western hemisphere, Swedish Punsch, a traditional Nordic liqueur produced from a blend of arrack, sugar, water, citrus, and spices, being one of them. So, since this ingredient is not available commercially to me, I must make my own. Sounds easy enough right.

Well, while most of the ingredients are easily found in any grocery store, arrack is an ingredient that is difficult to find. Arrack is an alcohol distilled mainly in South East Asia from fermented fruit, grain, sugarcane, or the sap of coconut palms, and not to be confused with the middle eastern Arak, which is an anise flavored liquor similar to Ouzo. There are several versions of arrack being produced around the world, but only one will do for the Swedish Punsch. The particular variety we are looking for is Batavia Arrack. Distilled in Indonesia from sugarcane fermented with red rice cakes, it has a raw, funky flavor profile similar to Cachaça. Luckily for me, the import company Haus Alpenz that has made creme de violette, and allspice dram available, has also been importing Batavia Arrack into the US as well. If you can’t find it in your local liquor store, it can be ordered from hitimewine.net. So with all my ingredients in hand, I set about to make my punsch.

My next step was to decide on a recipe. I looked at dozens of recipes and ultimately settled on Eric Ellestad’s recipe for Tales of the Cocktail 2008. While I used Eric’s recipe, I scaled it back as I didn’t really want to end up with 3 liters of Punsch.

Underhill Punsch–Tales Version

2 750ml Bottles of El Dorado 5 Year Demarara Rum
1 750ml Bottle Batavia Arrack van Oosten.
8 lemons, sliced thin and seeded.
750ml Water.
8 teaspoons Yunnan Fancy China Black Tea.
2 crushed cardamom pods.
4 cups Washed Raw Sugar.
This makes a bit more than 3 litres.

Put sliced lemon in a resealable non-reactive container(s). Pour Rum and Batavia Arrack over lemons. Cover and steep for 6 hours.
Heat water and steep tea and cardamom in it for the usual 6 minutes. Pour through cheesecloth to remove tea leaves and cardamom pods.
Dissolve sugar in hot tea and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate.
After 6 hours, pour rum off of sliced citrus, without squeezing fruit.
Combine tea syrup and flavored rum. Filter and bottle in a clean sealable container(s). Age at least overnight and enjoy where Swedish Punch is called for.

This makes a great tasting liqueur that I look forward to using in several cocktails. Try it and let me know what you think. Cheers!

MxMo LIII: Like That? You’ll Love This!

This Month’s Mixology Monday is hosted by Chris Amirault at the eGullet forums. Chris has suggested for the theme, “Like That? You’ll Love This!” Here’s how he describes it:

Here’s the story. At the bar where I now work, I regularly receive requests for the bar staples of the late 20th century, espresso martinis, appletinis, and other things that end inappropriately in -tini. Though these are standard-issue drinks at most bars, Cook & Brown Public House aims for a classic approach that eschews the pucker line, flavored vodkas, and bottled sour mix.

I’ve been talking with other bartenders and they, too, want to find a balance between customer service and stocking products that they can’t or won’t back. In addition, a well-made tweak of someone’s favorite can be just the ticket through the gate to the sort of quality cocktails you want to serve guests at home or at work. Hence this MxMo, devoted to sharing gateway drinks that allow you to say, “If you like that, you’ll love this!”

With that in mind, lets get to work. Currently I am not employed at a bar, and most of the people that come to my home bar know what kind of drinks I make. However, when I have someone new over and ask them what they would like, I often get answered by blank stares. Knowing that many of these people are used to sweeter, sugary drinks, I will ask them what they usually get. A Lemon Drop is by far the most common answer, and I think the easiest gateway cocktail to work with. Almost every bar makes at least an approximation of one, and it’s really not that bad of a cocktail. Being of the sour family, it’s formulation is about the same as a classic Daiquiri, or a Whiskey Sour, or a Sidecar. All of which I would consider great cocktails. So with that in mind, some simple tweaks of said Lemon Drop can be a great way to educate someone, and get them deeper into the world of cocktails.

We’ll take our basic sour formula of 2-1-1, and mix up our Lemon Drop.

Lemon Drop
2 oz Citrus Vodka
1 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Lemon Juice

Now we have a couple of choices for our next iteration. We could replace the vodka with gin, we could replace the simple syrup with an orange liqueur, we could add bitters, or we could do all three. I usually will do maybe two of the three, with the goal of slowly working in other ingredients slowly. So lets do that and see how it works.

Improved Lemon Drop
2 oz Citrus Vodka
1 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
2 dashes Lemon or Orange Bitters

or

Gin Sour
2 oz Gin
1 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Lemon Juice
2 Dashes Lemon Bitters

With these drinks we have taken a simple vodka sour and made it more interesting by substitution and/or addition. Neither drink is a bold departure from the original as to not scare the person away, but both are still more complex (in taste, not execution) than the original. From here we can continue down the white spirits list and introduce the Collins, French 75, Daiquiri, or we can introduce some dark spirits in the form of a Sidecar, Whiskey Sour, etc. Choosing a basic cocktail and slowly expanding it is a great way to get someone to expand their drinking sights. And when they have been to the good side, I don’t think most will want to go back. Cheers, and thanks again to Chris for hosting. Be sure to check out the eGullet Forums for the roundup!

Hot Buttered Rum

When it starts to get chilly up here in the pacific northwest, all I want to do is stay inside, wrap myself in a blanket in front of a fire, and enjoy a great wintertime beverage. Probably one of my favorite holiday bevies is a good Hot Buttered Rum. While I like to make my own buttered rum batter, this is a drink that can be easily made with ingredients on hand as well.

Hot Spiced Rum – Bartenders Guide (Jerry Thomas,1862)
1 tsp sugar
2 oz Jamaica Rum
1 tsp spices (allspice & cloves)
1 piece of butter as large as half of a chestnut
3-4 oz hot water

While this is a fine beverage for a chilly evening. It can be made even better with a little preparation.

Buttered Rum Batter
1 Cup Butter
1 Pint Vanilla Ice Cream
1 lb powdered Sugar
1 lb brown sugar
2 tbsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla extract
allow butter and ice cream to come to room temperature. Mix well.
Can be stored in refridgerator for up to a week, in the freezer for a month.

Mixing this batter into your rum makes for a warm, rich, spicy drink that is perfect for those long winter nights. If you want to go even richer, hot cider may be used in place of the hot water.

Hot Buttered Rum
2 oz Spiced Rum
2 heaping barspoons batter
4 oz hot water
top with freshly whipped cream if so desired.