69. West Indian Punch

69. West Indian Punch - Hero

Here’s another variation on JT’s Brandy Punch (after last week’s Barbadoes Punch). I, for one, didn’t know that preserved (not candied) ginger was a thing, but apparently it’s pretty common in British-esque countries. And is very tasty. I’ve eaten many a “clove” or two on their own once I found it at our local British food store. It’s a pity it’s not more common.

One of the biggest news stories today is Wikileak’s release of details on CIA hacking tools that can snoop on your phone, computer, and even your connected TV. This is not super surprising, as the spy agency is just that — a spy agency — but it will definitely pose problems for the western organization (ugh that’s a stretch) as some of the tricks of their trade are now revealed.

69. West Indian Punch - Ingredients

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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

¡Tepache! Pineapple Cider – Boozy Newsie News Flash

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Been a while since one of these, but the Boozy Newsie News Flashes are just quick reviews of drinks, places, events, anything that I’ve experienced recently. Here’s the latest!

I’ve had a lot of ciders, of varying types (hard, sparkling, regular, pasteurized, raw and probably dangerous…) and my favorite is still the fresh-from-the-press bottles you can get at Russell Orchards in Essex, Massachusetts. Not trying to be hipster and know about niche places — mainly it’s right near where I grew up.

Until a few weeks ago, though, I had never had cider made from anything but apples and a few pear versions. Until Reverend Nat came along with a pineapple one. Technically, it’s Padre Nat, just like Trader’s Joe’s Jose / Giotto / Ming / etc. variations for its foreign foods.

Called ¡Tepache!, exclamation points included, you’re instructed to mix 2:1 with a light beer (for best results). We tried both that concoction (¡Tepache!-Tecate is a mouthful) as well as drinking it neat, and it was definitely an interesting experience.

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Tasting Notes:

BN: The cider was very sweet and light orange in color, with only a hint of carbonation. It wasn’t as acidic as pineapple juice is, but still had a good flavor of the fruit. Honestly, it tasted a little more like juice than it did cider or beer. I suppose that’s why they want you to mix it. Putting it together with a can of Tecate we had laying around somewhere, it added the right body and bubbles to the drink, without overpowering the pineapple flavor. It tasted like an unusual shandy, and I liked it, though I’m not sure I would have it again. It could be good for mixing in other combinations, but by itself it didn’t really have the right kind of oomph that I would be looking for in such a drink.

PiC: I definitely liked it better with the Tecate, but it was a little too sweet without it. It should taste more alcoholic.

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2. Brandy Punch

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In theory, I would start with the first recipe. But this book has the confusing method of starting the section with a vague description of how best to make whatever particular type of drink it’s discussing (in this case punches) and then with the first real recipe ignoring everything that came before. But since this is the first concrete recipe, I’m going to do it, and then maybe go back to #1 once all of the punches are complete. Then maybe I’ll understand what he’s trying to get me to do. Maybe.

In the real world, Brandy Clark released a new single on Friday. Brandy Clark is pretty much the greatest — she’s written songs for essentially all of the biggest country stars (and the ones who are less huge but probably better, like Kacey Musgraves), and also has a really good album, 12 Stories, which you should check out. It’s on Spotify! Her new album is coming out in April. This has been a PSA from your friendly Boozy Newsie.

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2. Brandy Punch

(Use large bar glass.)

  • 1 table-spoonful raspberry syrup. [Made this from this Imbibe recipe.]
  • 2 do. white sugar. [so as not to have to put a note every time from now on, I’m going to replace the do. (ditto) with the actual amount.]
  • 1 wine-glass water. [2 oz.]
  • 1½ wine-glass brandy. [I’m also going to adjust to modern measurements. This one’s 3 oz.]
  • ½ small-sized lemon.
  • 2 slices of orange.
  • 1 piece of pine-apple.
  • Fill the tumbler with shaved ice, shake well, and dress the top with berries in season; sip through a straw. [Again, no straw, and I used some raspberries to match the syrup.]

Only thing I’d add here is that I decided rather than using the lemon as a garnish, he meant to squeeze the juice in. The pineapple I put in the glass early so some of the juice should have gotten in as well, but everything else was garnish.

Brandy Punch Prep

Tasting Notes:

BN: You can taste all the elements and they meld well. It’s not super sweet, which is odd because there’s both syrup and sugar in there, but I really like it! The best of the ones I made today.

PiC: It’s almost whiskey sourish, but fresher. That’s GOOD. It’s like a Sour Patch Kid in a drink! The raspberry and the sourness match to be just like the candy. We should remember this one.

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Bonus shot of raspberry syrup:

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