69. West Indian Punch

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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.

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70. Barbadoes Punch

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This is one of the many variations on JT’s Brandy Punch (which was delicious). It is notable for being one of the drinks I never thought I would actually make, due to the required additional ingredient — guava jelly. Because who has that? That’s not a thing! Then, one of our friends brought back some guava jam as a gift from a tropical trip so… problem solved! Technically jam not jelly I suppose but close enough.

The only news that I could understand about Barbado[e]s itself was this which does not merit repeating here. So, instead, some regular news. Scientists have found what they think are the oldest micro-fossils yet, dating back to 3.77 billion years ago. They are probably bacteria that lived around hot volcanic vents in the ocean’s floor. Cool!

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176. White Lion

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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.

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184. Knickerbocker

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Such a great name. I only know it from this, and the TV show “The Knick.” But Wikipedia there was also a Barney song. And some other things. I also like that there’s no “The” in the title. Anyway. On to the news!

It’s obviously tricky to find a news article for this one… So instead, let’s just talk about this. I’d make another joke about needing a drink, but, seriously, guys, let’s just elect the right person president and use all of this as an opportunity to learn how to treat all people (women, African-Americans, immigrants, Latinos, the list goes on and on) with respect and care about them. Ugh.

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222. Lemonade

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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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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.