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.

222. Lemonade - 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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34. St. Charles’ Punch

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Happy Fourth of July to all my US readers! And, happy fourth of July to all the rest of you. (No reason not to celebrate the day, I say.) In honor of this occasion, another delicious punch from a very American hero — I’ve said it before, but just to note again — the Bartender’s Guide is the first American cocktail handbook. A piece of history! And this drink is very patriotically colored. Now go make yourself a glass, and watch the fireworks.

No super interesting news stories today (other than my realization that we are just ten years away from the 250th birthday of the United States, which is exciting and also surprising that it hasn’t even been that long), so instead, a quick quote about the inspiration for this drink. It’s apparently named after the St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans at the time. Generously described in Mary Cable’s Lost New Orleans:

The St. Charles was certainly no common structure. It was taller than any building in New Orleans — six stories, surmounted by a gleaming white dome that could be seen for miles up and down the river. According to Norman’s 1845 guidebook, “The effect of the dome upon the sight of the visitor, as he approaches the city, is similar to that of St. Paul’s in London.” Mr. Norman, beside himself with admiration, went on to speak of the “indescribable effect of the sublime and matchless proportions of this building upon all spectators — even the stoical Indian and the cold and strange backwoodsman, when they first view it, are struck with wonder and delight.”

Sadly, it no longer exists. Drink to its memory!

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111. Gin Cocktail

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It’s time for another twofer! The first is this Gin Cocktail, and the second (tomorrow’s) will be the Fancy Gin Cocktail, which is the same but served slightly differently. I’m not entirely sure why these count as two separate drinks, but I guess he can do what he wants.

While this will not be keyword-y and punny, the big news story of this week is of course the Brexit, with continuing ramifications as the days go on. In short, Britain voted to leave the European Union soon, causing stocks and currencies to tumble, and generally uncertainty and despair. Also a sad commentary on what “real” people think about politics. However, I learned today that the vote isn’t actually the final word on this — they could hold another vote, or just… not do it. Apparently. Not that that wouldn’t also cause many issues, but it’s an interesting thought. So, uh, drink gin and contemplate.

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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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21. Roman Punch

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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.

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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.

17. Vanilla Punch

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Well, I spent all this time getting curaçao and then decided to make one of his drinks that doesn’t actually need it. Ah well, it was still delicious.

Vanilla Ice performed on the Today Show yesterday. I have no understanding of why this happened. Also, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were involved. This may have been a piece (one of the many) of 90s culture that I missed.

VanillaPunchIngredients

17. Vanilla Punch

(Use large bar glass.) [We didn’t.]

  • 1 table-spoonful of sugar.
  • 2 oz. brandy.
  • The juice of ¼ of a lemon.
  • Fill the tumbler with shaved ice, shake well, ornament with one or two slices of lemon, and flavor with a few drops of vanilla extract. [Presumably, you put the ingredients in first, and THEN fill with ice. Also, I used more like 6-7 drops of extract, and you should too.
  • This is a delicious drink, and should be imbibed through a glass tube or straw.

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Tasting Notes:

BN: I’m not sure why it follows that if it’s a delicious drink, it should be imbibed with a straw, but he’s right on both accounts. Vanilla isn’t a super common drink flavor, other than, say, milkshakes, but it paired really well with the citrus, and the bite of the alcohol. The only change I’d like to make to this drink is to maybe add some soda water, to cut the alcohol a tiny bit and, more importantly, make it last longer. Also, shaking with shaved ice is sort of strange, too, but it seemed to work. It was sweet, flavorful, and not overpowering in any particular way.

PiC: I liked it! It wasn’t too sweet, and I liked how much vanilla there was.

VanillaPunch1

143. Gin Sour

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There are a large number of drinks in The Bartender’s Guide that are modifications on other drinks that he lists, and there are also some pretty classic ones. The Gin Sour manages to be both. I stupidly didn’t also make the Gin Fix (141) which is literally the exact same as this, but with seasonal fruits on top (and no lemon juice). I probably will wait a while to make that one, though, so you can just imagine it for now. In terms of sours, I’m much more used to whiskey and amaretto sours, but it stands to reason that you could make them with other spirits as well.

I couldn’t find anything super relevant for Gin or Sour on the news front, but I did find this cool article from The Daily Beast from a few weeks ago talking about the rise of gin‘s popularity in 1700s England. They equate it to meth, in that everyone was making it in their basements, and it was causing all sorts of trouble in society (more crime, obviously more drunkenness, etc.) Everyone developed a taste for it on the continent, and it was cheap and easy, so they brought it back. A fun quick read, and I’ll work on getting more punny news articles next week.

Gin Sour Ingredients

143. Gin Sour

(Use small bar glass.)

  • 1 tablespoon of sugar.
  • ¼ of a lemon.
  • 1 oz of water
  • 2 oz of gin.
  • Press the juice of the lemon in the glass. Fill two-thirds full of shaved ice. Stir with a spoon. [Technically I’m combining two recipes, the Gin Fix and the Gin Sour, to make the one understandable without the other. Don’t worry about it.]

Gin Sour Process

Tasting Notes:

BN: This was pretty good. It’s pretty sweet (I wonder if a tablespoon might have been smaller back then and I therefore put too much in), and I’m not the hugest gin fan. The herbal notes of the gin, though, might distract from how sweet it is (a good thing), so maybe with another spirit it would be too much. If I made it again, I’d like something to cut it, maybe a bitters?

PiC: I liked this. It tastes like what I might imagine a lemon drop martini would taste like, or one of those lemon drop candies. It’s a little medicinal (the gin, probably). I’d drink this — but I’d like a sugar rim on it! [BN: Jerry Thomas actually does do this for some drinks, which he calls “crustas.” Stay tuned!]

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