176. White Lion

176. White Lion - Hero

Okay, so I thought this was a wintry drink, due to where it was in the book, as well as its name. It is not. This also marks the last use of the raspberry syrup (may it rest in peace) that I made a while ago. A poor last use, in my opinion.

While I could probably find a lot of news about white people, or talk about the movie Lion which is getting a lot of Oscar buzz and is a movie I really want to see, instead I found this story first, so here goes. In Japan, two animal handlers were mauled by a lion from Shonan Animal Production, a company that owns animals for use in film and television. Unclear as of yet if this was provoked, or just lions being lions. After all, they are wild animals.

176. White Lion - Ingredients

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122. Mulled Wine

122. Mulled Wine - Hero

JERRY WHAT ARE YOU DOING. This mulled wine does not have wine in it! I guess sherry is fortified wine but that’s a whole other kettle of fish. There’s a much more entertaining version of this recipe, 123, which is basically the same thing but an even larger batch and the recipe is written as a song. One day, we will make this. Be excited.

Here’s a piece of news worth mulling over (see what I did there): Cory Booker is now the first senator to testify against another senator in confirmation hearings. He is trying to prevent Jeff Sessions from being approved as Trump’s Attorney General. This probably won’t work, as the Republicans hold a majority (and apparently candidates hardly ever get rejected anyway), but as a show of defiance it probably works out.

122. Mulled Wine - Ingredients

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85. General Harrison’s Egg Nogg

85. General Harrison's Egg Nogg - Hero

I’m a little confused. I think the “General Harrison” in the title is referring to William Henry Harrison, who was a relatively famous General in the period prior to the writing of this cocktail book. However, he was also President of the United States, also prior to the writing of this book. So… shouldn’t this be “President Harrison’s Egg Nogg?” Or is there someone else? (I also found a general in the English Civil War but I doubt it was him.)

To be an useful purveyor of news, I’m going to focus on the General in this title, not Harrison (though I did find this entertaining and useless article). The biggest news is, of course, the revelation that Russia probably did act to influence the general election, and that Trump doesn’t really care and thinks it’s stupid (at the time of writing). Both things are, unfortunately, not hugely surprising. You may need a drink.

85. General Harrison's Egg Nogg - Ingredients

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Saloonbox Vermont Old Fashioned – News Flash

SaloonBox Vermont Old Fashioned - Hero

In August, I happened to win a one-month subscription to SaloonBox, which was awesome! I’d been interested in the service before, but wasn’t sure if the price point was justified. (Note: I’m still not quite sure if the price point is justified.) Either way, it was great to be able to try it out.

The service sends you, each month, everything you need to make two servings each of two different cocktails. In September, it was the Vermont Old Fashioned and the Ginger Piña (which I’ll discuss tomorrow).

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The box arrives packed full of an insane amount of padding, and various small-serving containers of whatever you’ll need, including the alcohol (there’s another service I’m intrigued by, Shaker and Spoon, that gives you the mixers/etc. but not the spirits).

The Vermont Old Fashioned was a pretty simple drink, basically an Old Fashioned with maple syrup (yum!) instead of simple syrup. I actually received extra maple syrup accidentally; they had packed two bottles of that and only one of the rye to mix in — it was supposed to be the other way around. Thankfully, their customer service was lightning quick and immediately sent me out another bottle of the rye.

On to the drink!

SaloonBox Vermont Old Fashioned - Ingredients

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110. Champagne Cocktail

110. Champagne Cocktail

Another variation on the Old Fashioned theme, this one a little more out there than the others. Why? Well, it’s exactly the same but with champagne instead of a hard liquor. So it adds bubbles and sweetness, among other things. A very different experience.

Apparently this year’s Champagne harvest was very bad, so we could see increased prices and limited supply in the coming years! Horror of horrors! Luckily, the wineries tend to have a big reserve, so it shouldn’t hopefully have a gigantic impact. But we’ll see…

110. Champagne Cocktail - Ingredients

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222. Lemonade

222. Lemonade - Hero

Who says a cocktail has to be alcoholic? Certainly not Jerry Thomas. He has a whole section of “Temperance Drinks” (oddly, the section itself is numbered 221, so I’m not entirely sure what his system is). We’ve actually seen one of these before, the Soda Nectar (228), but this one is a little more involved. He is definitely playing fast and loose not just the definition of lemonade, but also the more common definition of “temperance,” as this actually does have alcohol in it, if only a small amount. It’s also nice to be able to make this on a per glass basis, instead of a big pitcher all at once.

Interesting to note that there’s a footnote after the title of this drink which directs people to some other lemonade recipes in “The Manual for the Manufacture of Cordials, etc,” in the “latter part of this work.” I don’t actually have this part, but I think it’s okay — I saw it online, and it’s more about the ingredients than the actual cocktails. Which is cool, but not the goal here.

In the news-I-know-little-about vein, apparently Beyonce’s lawyers are trying to dismiss a filmmaker’s claim that she stole elements of his short film in her video album, Lemonade, that was released recently. Presented mostly without comment, as I feel like rights are such a messed up issue that it’s really hard to come down on one side or the other.

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213. Brandy Straight

213. Brandy Cocktail

Well, I’m back from a slightly extended summer break! I’ve got a number of drinks lined up, so we should be a little less last minute than we have in the past. Not that you’d know that, I guess — the secret’s out!

Anyways, sometimes Jerry Thomas is kind of odd. Or maybe it’s just the 1800s? Not sure. In any case, this drink is definitely one of the stranger ones, for multiple reasons. One: does this “recipe” even need to be codified? Two: was the term he mentions common at the time? Three: should bartenders, especially those concerned with highly crafted cocktails, really condone this type of drinking? Four: What does he mean by “safe?”

On the news front, everything seems to be going to hell generally, so you might just need to order a drink and keep the bottle. almost 50,000 acres of country burned by wildfires this week alone, massive floods in Louisiana, and probably other things equally terrible that I either don’t know about or was too upset to read about. So, stay sharp out there, and help out where you can. Donating blood is always a great option, as well as donating money to good causes, if you have some to spare.

Also, all emphasis is added by Jerry Thomas, not me, in the following recipe.

213. Brandy Cocktail Ingredients

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107. Brandy Cocktail

Top Down Brandy Cocktail

Well, I’ve found my new favorite cocktail. Just a variation on a theme, but this is a delicious drink, and one I will start ordering in bars to see if anyone will make one for me. As with the Gin Cocktail, there is both a regular and a “Fancy” version, made the same but presented differently, and that will be posted in short order as well.

I talked about Brandy Clark last time I had a drink that involved the word “Brandy,” and while she did release a new music video recently, this time I’ll talk about the very slightly more appropriate Brandy. I don’t really know who any of these people are in this article, or really what they’re talking about, but the general theme is that social media is awkward, and deleting things is useless because it’ll always get out there either way.

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21. Roman Punch

1-Roman-Punch

I’ll start this entry out by saying this is one of the top three Jerry Thomas concoctions I’ve made so far. And the thing all of those (this, 2. Brandy Punch, and 12. Champagne Punch) have in common? The raspberry syrup. So, apparently that’s just the best.

In the Phillippines, they just elected their first transgender politician, Geraldine Roman. As there are no openly LGBT politicians in the nation until now, this is a big step forward! Not much else to report, other than a lot of news about the new Uncharted video game which I guess has a character named Roman.

5-Roman-Punch-Ingredients

21. Roman Punch

(Use large bar glass.)

  • 1 table-spoonful of sugar.
  • 1 table-spoonful of raspberry syrup [Recipe here.]
  • 1 tea-spoonful of Curaçoa.
  • 2 oz. Jamaica rum. [We decided this meant dark rum.]
  • 1 oz. brandy.
  • The juice of half a lemon.
  • Fill with shaved ice, shake well, dash with port wine, and ornament with fruits in season. Imbibe through a straw.

Roman-Punch-GIF

2-Roman-Punch

Tasting Notes:

BN: I loved this. Another easy to make recipe (just throw everything together), and so delicious. The spiced rum and raspberry mixed really nicely, and the curaçao merged in to add a bit more fruitiness. I actually could have used a little more of that, and will do so next time (a teaspoon is a really small amount). It was easy to drink and had a lot of depth of flavor. Definitely use the straw, too, as you get a better mix of flavors from the bottom than the top, and you don’t have to deal with the shaved ice. Also, I put in a little too much (way more than a dash) of port accidentally, and the straw helped with that.

PiC: I really liked this. It almost has a medicinal taste, but not in a bad way, and it doesn’t quite get there. It’s sweet but not too sweet, and of course it’s very pretty. I imagine you could make this in a big batch for a party and it would be perfect.