209. Stone Fence

#209 Stone Fence - Hero

Back to Jerry Thomas! Finally! That’s all I’ve got in the way of an introduction this week. But it’s good to be back. I will say, however, that I really like this name for a cocktail, even though it is not super descriptive, and even though I kind of hated the cocktail itself.

In fence news, some Virginian convicts discovered this weekend that breaking out of prison is harder in real life than it is in the movies. They used a propped up bench to start their climb over two razor wire fences, but quickly got so tired and frustrated that they just sat down and waited to be apprehended. Wah wah.

#209 Stone Fence Ingredients

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The Al Capone

The Al Capone - Hero

This is the second drink I made for the Speakeasy party (the other being the French .45). It’s a pretty simple cocktail, just a modification of a Moscow Mule but I’m pretty sure I’ve never had a version of a Moscow Mule that wasn’t delicious so how can you go wrong. As evidenced by the name, this represented the Mob side of the game.

There’s no vocab I can really spark on newswise (there are some recent comparisons of Rachel Maddow and Trump’s tax returns to opening Al Capone’s vault live online to find nothing, but that’s boring), so instead I’ll share something that is only related through train of thought. Speakeasy > Prohibition > Smuggling > Tunnels > this cool story! Enjoy.

The Al Capone - Ingredients

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134. Whiskey Toddy

134. Whiskey Toddy - Hero

Ol’ Jerr-Jerr is playing fast and loose with these cocktail names. First a Flip that doesn’t seem to be a flip. Granted, I don’t really know what a flip is supposed to be, but still. Now, it’s a… cold toddy? Since a hot toddy is basically any alcohol with water, sugar, and maybe citrus, I guess this is an acceptable cold toddy but who really wants to drink that?

Neither of these words lends itself to even a vague connection with the news, so instead, a top story today. A shooting at a mosque in Quebec yesterday left six dead and many others wounded or in critical condition. However, they’ve now detained two people in connection with the attack, one a suspect, and the other a witness (the man who dialed 911). To me, though, it seems odd to detain a witness, is that a typical procedure? I don’t know much about police work, and I know even less about police work in Canada, but hopefully it will lead to resolution quickly and effectively. I should have made this drink with Canadian whiskey, in solidarity.

134. Whiskey Toddy - Ingredients

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4. Mississippi Punch

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Oy, it’s a hot one today. Cool down and relax with Jerry Thomas’ latest. I have to imagine this is named after the state which has hot, muggy weather all summer long. Only one cure, since there wasn’t air conditioning in 1862 — alcohol.

In Mississippi today, the case of three civil rights workers being burned in 1964, dubbed the “Mississippi Burning” case, has been officially closed. The last person was convicted in 2005, so someone will have to explain to me the legal parts of this.

Mississippi-Ingredients

4. Mississippi Punch

(Use large bar glass.)

  • 2 oz. of brandy.
  • 1 oz. of Jamaica rum.
  • 1 oz. of Bourbon whiskey.
  • 1 oz. of water.
  • 1½ table-spoonful of powdered white sugar.
  • ¼ of a large lemon.
  • Fill a tumbler with shaved ice.
  • The above must be well shaken, and to those who like their draughts “like linked sweetness long drawn out,” [Sounds very southern to me.] let them use a glass tube or straw to sip the nectar through. The top of this punch should be ornamented with small pieces of orange, and berries in season.

Tasting Notes:

BN: This was mostly good. I just read a book on the history of the Old Fashioned, and apparently there was a long period in the middle of the 1900s where people threw all kinds of fruit in them and they tasted a little sweet but still bourbon-y. I’ve never had one of those, specifically, but I think this is what that would taste like. The bourbon came through strongly (less so the other alcohols), and it was certainly fruity. Though not citrusy, really, oddly. Nowhere near as good as his other punches, though.

This also brought up some process questions for me. Why so much shaved ice? It waters things down so quickly, especially when it’s hot. Secondly, the amounts in this recipe were rather odd. It’s 5 oz. of alcohol, which is a lot for one drink, but it’s not really enough liquid for two. We split it, but the pours were light. Was it for a solo drinker? Finally, what was the purpose of his guide? Was it for bartenders to be ready if someone came in and ordered a “Mississippi Punch?” Or was he just sharing ideas for them to offer, not receive.

I do love the “linked sweetness” line, though.

PiC: It’s got some bite! It is a touch too alcoholic for me, but not bad. Kind of like a Jerry Thomas Long Island Iced Tea. (WHY DON’T ALL HIS PUNCHES USE RASPBERRY SYRUP?!)

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Grilled Pineapple Old Fashioned – News Flash

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I saw this drink over at ToGatherCuisine and thought it sounded delicious. He’s got all sorts of good stuff on the blog, so definitely check it out.

I tested out his pretty original take on an old fashioned, with the unique twist of allowing the fruit to make its own simple syrup! Sadly, I found it wanting, but I’m pretty sure this was either my fault or the pineapple’s fault, not the recipe. Notes to follow.

It’s a pretty simple recipe, copied below in its entirety.

Grilled Pineapple Old Fashioned Ingredients

Grilled Pineapple Old Fashioned

  • 4 oz. bourbon. (Bulleit was [his] weapon of choice)
  • 1 slice of fresh pineapple, 1/2 inch thick.
  • Using an indoor grill pan or an outdoor grill, grill the pineapple for 3 minutes on each side over medium to medium-high heat. Add the slice of pineapple to a shaker filled with 1 cup of ice. Muddle for 20-30 seconds, leaving only a few cubes of ice still frozen.
  • Add the bourbon to the shaker and shake for a few seconds, just enough to incorporate the pineapple and the alcohol.
  • Pour the contents of the shaker into a tumbler filled with ice through a strainer, making sure none of the pineapple chunks fall into the glass.
  • Enjoy while cold!

Tip: While using an outdoor grill with charcoal and/or wood will add another layer of depth and smokiness to the drink, just make sure to clean the rack your pineapple will be resting on well before grilling the fruit. The last thing you want is remnants of the burgers you grilled floating around in your glass.

Pineapple GrillingMixing Gif Grilled Pineapple Old Fashioned

Tasting Notes:

BN: I really wanted to like this, but it wasn’t sweet enough and was too watered down. I think therefore that was some issue with my ratio of ice to pineapple, or the fact that maybe I didn’t grill the fruit for long enough to really pull out those caramel-y sweet flavors. Maybe it needed to be fresher pineapple — I’m not sure how good the one I had was. Alternately, maybe canned pineapple would be syrupy enough.

Also, I think this would be an even better recipe with the inclusion of bitters, a) for Old Fashioned’s sake and b) because bitters make everything better. I will try this again, maybe in the summer when I have more grilling confidence, because I love the idea, and I think I just didn’t do it justice. But wrote about it anyway.

PiC: I don’t like Old Fashioneds very much in general, and this one didn’t really have much taste which was too bad because I do like pineapple.

Grilled Pineapple Old Fashioned Hero

The Deep Blue Sea – Shark Week

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It’s Shark Week, the only time people care about the Discovery Channel! And so, to a drink.

I tried something a little bit different this time, taking a pre-existing drink more specifically and modifying it. And I think it worked out well! The original recipe is the “Fred Collins Fizz,” from the New Guide for the Hotel, Bar, Restaurant, Butler, & Chef (that’s a mouthful) by Bacchus & Cordon Bleu, 1885. Instructions are copied verbatim, except for the last two. Adjustments were made by the replacement of orange with blue curaçao, as well as the addition of grenadine. To bring the blood into the blue ocean water.

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The Deep Blue Sea

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 teaspoon blue curaçao
  • 6 ounces fizzy lemonade
  • a dash of grenadine
  1. Mix the bourbon, simple syrup, and lemon juice in an iced cocktail shaker and shake.
  2. Strain into a large bar glass that is half filled with shaved (or finely crushed) ice.
  3. Add the curaçao
  4. Pour the lemonade into a collins glass, and pour the contents of the bar glass into it.
  5. Dribble a little bit of grenadine into the top of the glass, and watch with satisfaction as it settles to the bottom
  6. Enjoy, while deciding that you won’t go into the ocean for at least another year. Maybe July of 2016 you’ll give it another shot.

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Tasting Notes:

BN: This was really good. Normally I say that because I’m proud of myself but this was awesome. It wasn’t super alcoholic, and the tartness of the fresh lemon worked incredibly well with the hint of grenadine. I tried it without the grenadine and it wasn’t quite the same. Well done, bartenders of 1885. Only disappointment was that it ended up green and red instead of blue and red, and kind of looked like it should taste like watermelon.

PiC: YUM. So tart and so tasty. *dives face into glass for more*

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The Cherry Tree – Presidents’ Day

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Hey everyone, I’m back! It’s been a while, but I’ve been distracted with things. Anyway, for my first – poor (you’ll see) – attempt at getting back into writing this blog, I figured I’d start with an easy one – Presidents’ Day!

If there are two things the leaders of our country are known for, it’s never telling a lie and bourbon. Clearly. Therefore, cherry juice (see what I did there? Washington? Cherry trees?) and, uh, bourbon. Because it’s American. Or something.

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The Cherry Tree

  • 3 oz bourbon
  • 3 oz cherry juice
  • 6 shakes orange bitters
  • orange slice for garnish

Combine, serve on the rocks.

Presidents Day 2

Tasting Notes

BN: Oh man, this was not good. I thought it didn’t have enough cherry so I added more and then it was just as bad. Tasted at first just like pure bourbon, and then like medicine. It needs some other flavor to distinguish it, maybe a vermouth or a brandy or something? Not a good first showing of 2015, but I’ll improve! Maybe I’ll make a better version of it for next year. We’ll see.

PiC: When you said cherry and alcohol, I thought cough syrup. And it tastes like cough syrup. But like, fancy cough syrup, at least.