Archive for the ‘dairy’ Category

A Ramos Gin Fizz – and a Rose Fizz

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

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I haven’t posted anything for the last couple of Mixology Mondays. My excuse in April was being on holiday and having no access to Champagne. It seems it isn’t a popular drink in the remoter parts of Western China. I didn’t have a very good excuse in May since I was already back in New Zealand by that stage. All I can say is that I still hadn’t got around to setting up a bar in my apartment and the idea of tequila drinks didn’t inspire me enough to make me rush out and go shopping.

 

This month my bar is more or less functional and the theme is cream, a theme which seems very doable. (more…)

Broker’s Flip

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

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I made this one because I wanted to try something else with Anisette, and the recipe appealed due to the ‘old fashioned’ inclusion of an egg. I also figured an anisette drink with egg or cream might see the aniseed taste get mellowed out. The name is also kind of cool. It is hard to imagine bunch of stock brokers wandering into a bar and ordering this though. I guess brokers had different tastes a hundred years or so ago.

Recipe:

1 1/2 oz white port

1/2 oz gin

1/4 oz sweet vermouth

1/4 oz anisette

1 egg

Shake with ice and strain into a wine glass. The recipe suggests using a cocktail glass, but depending on the size of the egg this may be a little small. Since 19th century eggs were smaller than eggs today, you could also consider using only half an egg.

This thing tastes more like a vermouthy wine flip than anything else. The anisette is very much in the background. I won’t be rushing to make this again in a hurry, but nothing wrong with it if you feel like something unusual. If I made it again I might try scaling down the vermouth and upping the anisette.

Rye Whiskey!

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

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My excellent friend Nathan brought be three bottles of rye whiskey from the US yesterday – Wild Turkey, Old Overholt and Rittenhouse. I haven’t had too much of a chance to play around with them yet, but the Wild Turkey is excellent stuff, and while the Old Overholt and Rittenhouse are a little lacking in aftertaste they are still nice mixers that are distinctly different to bourbon.

The Wild Turkey makes an excellent Manhattan – dry and spicy with good depth of flavor. It really does taste totally different to a Manhattan made with a quality bourbon, though I must admit a Woodford Reserve Manhattan is also very good. The Old Overholt and Rittenhouse are nice enough in a Manhattan but they don’t have the backbone of the Wild Turkey. Old Overholt and Rittenhouse don’t taste too bad in an Old Fashioned, but would probably be best in drinks with juices and other ingredients – i.e. drinks where the whiskey isn’t doing all the work. Comparing them with Blantons Bourbon, Blantons still makes a far superior Old Fashioned and I’m not a big Blanton’s fan.

Right now I’m trying the Rittenhouse in a Capetown Cocktail (1 1/2 oz rye, 1 oz Dubonnet, 2 dashes Orange Curacao, 1 dash Angostura Bitters, stirred over ice and garnished with a lemon twist). The Rittenhouse works nicely in a drink like this. It is drier than bourbon would be, just a little spicy, and the bitter and herbal flavors of the Dubonnet help make up for its lack of finish.

I need to hurry up and make some more drinks with these rye whiskeys while my bar here in Shanghai is still intact. I’m planning to leave China soon which will mean saying good bye to my bar.

One interesting thing to note though is this. . . I remember seeing a recommendation to use Jameson Irish whiskey as a substitute for rye in a Manhattan. Since tasting some real rye I can see some logic behind this suggestion. I think I’d recommend Jameson over the usual Canadian whiskey substitution. Jameson is more astringent than sweet, but it does have a little of the spiciness of a true rye. It certainly has more character than the Canadian Club that bartenders tend to use for Manhattans.

P.S. I also tried a Wright Brothers Cocktail (1 oz rye, 1 oz port, 1/2 oz lemon juice, sugar syrup to taste, an egg white – shaken over ice). The rye taste didn’t really come through but it was not a bad refreshing drink.

Gin and Milk

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

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Again Kumuhana looked carefully about him, and up into the monkey- pod boughs as if to apprehend a lurking listener. His lips were very dry. With his tongue he moistened them repeatedly. Twice he essayed to speak, but was inarticulately husky. And finally, with bowed head, he whispered, so low and solemnly that Hardman Pool bent his own head to hear: “No.”

Pool clapped his hands, and the little maid ran out of the house to him in tremulous, fluttery haste.

“Bring a milk and gin for old Kumuhana, here,” Pool commanded; and, to Kumuhana: “Now tell me the whole story.”

“Wait,” was the answer. “Wait till the little wahine has come and gone.”

And when the maid was gone, and the gin and milk had travelled the way predestined of gin and milk when mixed together, Hardman Pool waited without further urge for the story. Kumuhana pressed his hand to his chest and coughed hollowly at intervals, bidding for encouragement; but in the end, of himself, spoke out. . .

Milk is not the first thing you associate with gin, and gin and milk is not the first thing you associate with Waikiki. Gin and milk was a popular concoction in the 19th Century though, and Jack London made it Hardman Pool’s drink of choice in his Hawaiian short story The Bones of Kahekili (1919). I think I also remember hearing somewhere that the Queen Mother used to drink gin and milk. To observe that gin and milk is no longer popular as it was would be an understatement, but with endorsements from Jack London and the Queen Mum perhaps everyone owes it to themselves to give it a try?

I made a passing mention of warm gin in last month’s post on the Sleigh Flip (a flip involving hot beer, rum and egg). In that post I suggested that warm gin sounded like a very bad idea. After writing that though I started thinking warm gin might just be worth a try. Gin and milk seemed a good combination for a warm gin drink, and also had the interest factor being something I had heard about but never tried.

I am sure that gin and milk would taste fine on the rocks, and the drink probably was often drunk that way. However, I doubt Hardman Pool’s gin and milk included ice. The Bones of Kahekili is set on a Hawaiian cattle ranch in the year 1880, a place and time when ice may not necessarily have been available. I am guessing that Hardman Pool’s gin and milk was simply mixed at room temperature. Here in Shanghai though it is freezing right now, and moreover this month’s Mixology Monday is looking at winter warmers, so warm gin and milk seems just the thing. Back when gin and milk was popular I expect it was served warm in winter. Before the introduction of electric refrigeration it would have been much easier to warm drinks in winter than to cool them in summer.

To make a basic gin and milk is very simple. Pour a measure of gin into a glass and top up with three or four measures of milk. Full fat milk is best for this drink. Sweeten with sugar if you want. You can adjust the proportions according to taste.

I decided to adjust the recipe a little, as follows:

1 oz gin (ideally use an Oude style Genever – read more here and here)

4 oz hot milk (ideally full fat)

1 teaspoon orgeat

1-2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Mix ingredients together in a glass. For a truly hot drink microwave for a few seconds after mixing. Send the way predestined of gin and milk when mixed together.

Hot gin and milk tastes much better than it sounds. Hot gin is sharper, less warming, and less rich tasting than rum, whiskey or brandy – the popular spirits used in toddies and other warm drinks. Less cloying than more traditional hot drink ingredients, gin makes an interesting change. Mixing hot gin with milk makes the sharpness manageable and results in a pleasantly approachable concoction. The orgeat adds a type of sweetness that complements both the milk and the gin. Leaving the bitters out would not hurt too much, but they give a little extra depth.

Hot gin and milk makes a pleasant winter drink. It is warming, nourishing, totally unfashionable, and even comes with a story attached!

“I have talked long, O Kanaka Oolea. There is not the enduring moistness in my mouth that was when I was young. It seems that afresh upon me is the thirst that was mine when tormented by the visioned tongue of the harpooner. The gin and milk is very good, O Kanaka Oolea, for a tongue that is like the harpooner’s.”

A shadow of a smile flickered across Pool’s face. He clapped his hands, and the little maid came running.

“Bring one glass of gin and milk for old Kumuhana,” commanded Hardman Pool.

The Sleigh Flip: or Santa may not make it. . .

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

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The theme for this week’s Mixology Monday (hosted at Spirit World) is Drinks for a Festive Occasion. I was a little stumped about what to contribute. I had been thinking about something using my homemade Pimento Dram, the Jamaican allspice liqueur. Allspice evokes the holiday season more than most tastes do. I am not entirely happy with how my Pimento Dram has turned out though. The only over-proof rum I could find was Bacardi 151 which may be the reason my Pimento Dram is a little harsh, and the allspice taste is more ‘hot’ than fragrant. However, rough Pimento Dram is better than none.

I was still thinking along the lines of Pimento Dram when I wandered down to the supermarket looking for some cider. The plan was to do mulled cider with a shot of Pimento dram in it. It turned out the supermarket no longer stocked cider, but they did have something unexpected and even more seasonal – Samichlaus Bier from Austria.

Samichlaus Bier (Santa Claus Beer) bills itself as the strongest lager beer in the world. For a while it was the strongest beer in the world but with all the microbreweries opening up in the U.S. over the last decade some U.S. brewery now claims that title. Samichlaus Bier is brewed each year at Christmas and released in time for the following Christmas, meaning it counts as an aged beer. The beer itself is a deep copper color, with a sweet and winey taste, relatively little bitterness, and a staggering 14% alcohol by volume. It used to be made in Switzerland, but now seems to be from Austria.

I don’t know how easy this beer is to buy internationally, but must be widely distributed if it has turned up in Shanghai. It used to appear in New Zealand each year before Christmas. I remember one year walking into a wine shop and being surprised to find the stuff. The woman who owned the shop waxed lyrical about how fantastic it was and I bought a couple of bottles. A year later I happened to walk past the same shop and saw the same beer, now at a give away price, complete with a sign reading “The most revolting beer in the world! Please help us get rid of it!” I think I bought a case.

The Austrian version seems to have less character than the original Swiss version but is still a pleasant beer. It is a bit sweet and you wouldn’t want to drink it too often, but it is definitely not revolting. I thought it would be fun to use Samichlaus Bier to make an ale flip.

A flip is a very old fashioned winter drink that simply involves mixing hot alcohol, an egg, sugar, and maybe something spicy. A Samichlaus Bier flip seemed perfect for the holiday season, and since a flip is vaguely punch-like you could mix this stuff up in a large batch to serve a crowd. Note that I’m not suggesting in any way that this would be a good idea and obviously you should check the details of your home and contents insurance policy first. Alternatively just serve it at a friend’s house and observe the fun.

The recipe. . .

Sleigh Flip (or Santa May Not Make It)

250ml Samichlaus Bier

1 egg

30ml St. James amber rum

2 teaspoons Pimento Dram

4 dashes Angostura Bitters

2 dashes orange bitters

1 teaspoon dark muscovado sugar

If the egg is from the fridge, first warm it in a bowl of hot water to bring it to room temperature or thereabouts. Warm the beer on the stove or in the microwave to just below boiling point. Be careful not to actually let it boil, since it will likely foam up and spill everywhere. In a warm bowl (the bowl you just warmed the egg in would be easiest) beat the egg with the rum, Pimento Dram, bitters and sugar until slightly frothy. Add the warm beer and beat together. Pour into a mug and serve.

This doesn’t have to be made with Samichlaus beer. Any reasonably full bodied beer would work nicely. Samichlaus is a lager but generally ales would work better. Samichlaus works well because it is an extra strong lager with plenty of flavor. You might want to adjust the ratio of sugar depending on the beer you use. Samichlaus is very sweet so you need no more than a teaspoon – in fact you could probably even dispense with the sugar entirely. A drier beer might demand more sugar.

St. James or some other Martinique rum seems an appropriate spirit addition because it has complex but not too assertive flavors and relatively little sweetness. Whiskey would also be interesting too but may be a little dominant. Brandy would be nice but would be less traditional than rum. Rum was often used in flips when they were still popular (in the 19th century and earlier), perhaps because it was cheaper than brandy or whiskey, and a better fit than gin. I am ready to try most things, but a mug of hot gin, beer and an egg? Hmm. . . maybe after a mug of hot rum, beer and an egg.

 

Benedictine makes a nice substitute for the Pimento Dram, though in this case consider leaving out the bitters and upping the ratio of Benedictine since Benedictine is relatively subtle. If using Benedictine consider substituting honey for the sugar. You could even consider trying Chartreuse. It sounds a little crazy, but why be shy when dealing with half a pint of hot beer and an egg? A drink like this calls for heavy flavors.

Enjoy!