35. 69th Regiment Punch

#35 69th Regiment Punch - Hero

There are of course many different 69th Regiments in various military units, but the one that makes the most sense is the “Fighting Irish” from New York. Since this cocktail is similar to some of the other toddy-esque ones we’ve done in the past, but with an addition of Irish spirit, it connects up with the infantry unit? I guess?

This past weekend was the 69th Herring Festival in Jamesville, North Carolina. I was going to put some actual news in this one but then, herring festival. So there you go.

#35 69th Regiment - Ingredients

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Chilled Cider Punch

Chilled Cider Punch - Hero

Today’s interlude is brought to you not by Jerry Thomas, but by the New Year’s Eve party I made this for. This is a (very tasty) recipe, modified in this particular occasion, from Saveur magazine, presented below. I’ve made this a few times now, though, and it’s always a hit. A little dangerous alcohol-wise, and addictive, but hey, it (was) New Year’s Eve. Might as well!

For those of you in the northeast, be warned! Your houses are about to be chilled again with a “one-two punch” (their words, not mine, so it’s okay) of more bad weather this weekend. It’s times like these I really miss being back home. Which is weird, I know, but it’s just how I am. Will hopefully be up in the snowy California mountains soon, which is almost as good. Anyways, wait out the storm with a hot cider and then you’ve got all three words in one blurb! I mean… a good drink. Both.

Chilled Cider Punch - Ingredients

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8. Scotch Whiskey Punch

8. Scotch Whiskey Punch - Hero

Sometimes, Jerry Thomas is kind of a douche. This is one of those times. You’ll see why in the description for this drink, of which there are minimal details. Of course, he then turns around and gives specific details in the very next recipe, so he really waffles a bit. I used the rough proportions from the next drink (out tomorrow) to make this one.

Not a huge amount of related news, but in an effort to be informative, a few stories about Latin America. Donald Trump met with the Mexican president, in a meeting I wish I had been there to see. Meanwhile, Dilma Rousseff of Brazil was (finally) impeached. It’s a one-two punch of leadership stories!

8. Scotch Whiskey Punch - Ingredients

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205. Scotch Whiskey Skin

Don't make this.

Hoo boy. Well, you can’t win ’em all. That’s really the only intro I have for this drink.

On the current events front, in something that will be old news by the time this goes up, Scotland is really sucking in the Six Nations rugby tournament. Sucking almost as bad as this drink does (eight straight losses). Rugby, though, is really cool actually, and the USA’s own Pro Rugby league is starting up this spring! Just don’t drink this while you’re watching.

Use these for something better.

205. Scotch Whiskey Skin

(Use small bar glass.) [Or a mug, because it’s hot. Or just don’t make this.]

  • 2 oz. Scotch whiskey.
  • 1 piece of lemon peel.
  • Fill the tumbler one-half full with boiling water.

Please don't make this.

Tasting Notes:

BN: In case it wasn’t abundantly clear, I hated this. It tasted like really hot watered-down scotch that was slightly bitter (from the lemon peel). So, exactly what it was. I generally like toddies, but they really need a sweetener in there. I’m not sure how anyone can drink this. There’s a small chance a stronger-flavored scotch could have made it better, like a Caol Ila, but I sincerely doubt it.

PiC: Eugh.

The Loving Cup – #LoveWins

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The Supreme Court made a number of good decisions this week, but the one that seemed most apt for drinkifying was the Obergefell v. Hodges case, which is mostly known as the case that decided same-sex marriage was a right in the entire United States.

In honor of this decision, generally (and by me) regarded as a triumph of love over adversity, prejudice, and all that bad stuff, I decided to put things I love into a cocktail and see if it was any good. Slightly less thought through than SCOTUS’ decision, but hey, it ended up working.

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The Loving Cup

  • 1.5 oz not-too-intense scotch (Highland Park is great!)
  • .75 oz St. Germain
  • 2-3 shakes rhubarb bitters (go easy on this)
  • juice of 1/4 lemon, or to taste
  • rainbow sour strips, for garnish
  1. Combine ingredients in a Boston shaker, over ice.
  2. Shake briefly and strain into a martini glass
  3. Layer in the sour strip for garnish, gently.
  4. Enjoy, while basking in the good sense (in this case) of this country.
  5. Pro tip: eat the sour strips after they’ve had a good long soak in the cocktail.

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Tasting Notes:

BN: I really liked this. Weirdly, I didn’t like the combination of the ingredients before adding the sour strip, and the sour strip itself was pretty cherry-medicinal which is never good. But together, they melded nicely (and you should probably wait a bit before drinking to allow them to do so). It had just the right amount of sweet and sour, and wasn’t too strong on any one flavor. Also, the alcohol-infused sour strip was delicious.

PiC: I really liked this! I mean, I love sour candy and I wanted this to be a good one given the awesomeness of the event that inspired it, but to be honest I thought it was gonna be super alcohol-tasting, which is not really my thing. But it actually was dangerously drinkable and went super well with the sour candy garnish, so yay! #LoveWins!

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The Freebeard – End of No-Shave November

Free Beard 1I’ve somehow always missed No-Shave November, because I forgot to shave until a few days in, and that kind of defeats the purpose… But this year I remembered! I didn’t raise money for anything yet, but it was a fun experiment to see how much beard could be grown in a month, and the answer was a fair amount. But today is the last day, and unlike NaNoWriMo I actually got to the end, so I made a drink to celebrate the occasion.

I figured it should be something manly, and what’s more manly than scotch? I put some other things in there to keep it interesting (not that I would be opposed to just drinking the scotch…), and I called it the Freebeard because puns. It’s based off of a Rob Roy, sorta, but with a slight twist.

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The Freebeard

  • 2 oz peaty scotch (I picked Oban)
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • 6-7 dashes rhubarb bitters
  • orange twist for garnish

Combine all ingredients (except for the orange peel) in a mixing glass over ice. Stir, and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a twist of orange.

Free Beard 2

Tasting Notes

BN: I liked this a lot more than I planned to. The flavors actually melded pretty well, and it wasn’t too orangey. I was a bit worried about the rhubarb bitters because they smelled like medicine, but the taste was weirdly completely different. Hurray for scotchtails!

PiC: I suspected from the start that this would not be the cocktail for me, and though I could tell it was a good cocktail it is not something I’d go drinking. That said, the Oban was a key choice here, as it was smooth but added a really good smokiness that even I appreciated, and if I had to drink something this strong, this might be it.

The No Thanks – Scottish Referendum

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“Hey, wait a minute,” you might say, “wasn’t the whole point of this blog that you would craft cocktails around current events and news stories? Why haven’t you actually done that at all yet?” Fair point, dear reader. But now things are changing! It’s a news story, that’s happening right now, and now I have a cocktail! Hurray!

As you may know, tomorrow (the 18th) is the date of a potentially historic vote that’s going to be taking place in Scotland. They’re deciding whether or not to remain as part of the United Kingdom, or split off into their own country. This of course has all sorts of geo-political ramifications, from currency exchange to energy rights and so on. Last time I checked, the poll was at 51% for independence and 49% to stay together. So we’ll see what happens!

In the meantime, I’ve made a cocktail. Now, I don’t know where I stand on the actual issue, but in terms of ingredients, Scottish and English are better together. To that end, I’ve made a quick and simple cocktail with scotch (what else can you pick?) to represent Scotland, and Earl Grey tea (which is apparently named after a British prime minister) to represent England. The campaign slogan for sticking together is apparently “No Thanks,” hence the name of the cocktail. Here it is!

No Thanks Ingredients

The No Thanks

    • 2 oz single malt scotch (I picked the Balvenie Doublewood because a) it’s good and b) it’s smoky but not too much so)
    • 1.25 oz Earl Grey simple syrup (I used this recipe though it makes a very large amount)
    • 1 oz lemon

Easy enough preparation: mix together, serve with a big ice cube in a rocks glass. (But see the notes below…)

No Thanks Hero

Tasting Notes:

BN: I really liked this. My only issue was that the Earl Grey flavor didn’t quite come through as much as I wanted in the actual drink. The syrup was very flavored, but I couldn’t put any more in the cocktail without making it too sweet. Perhaps a blended scotch might overpower the light tea flavor a little bit less. The lemon was good to add a little acidity and balance to the palate (don’t I sound fancy). I think the syrup also had a tendency to sink to the bottom, despite a lot of stirring. Perhaps a shaken preparation might work better, if you’re allowed to do that with scotch.

PiC: I don’t normally like scotch, and I actually like this! Well done!

So we’ll see what happens with the vote. Whatever side you’re on, pour yourself a nice big glass of scotch when you watch the results!

No Thanks Composed