Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mixology Monday XII

It's my turn again. I'll be hosting Mixology Monday XII here at the cocktail hour on Monday, February 12th. The theme this time is whisk(e)y. I won't say too much more about the subject, but notice your whisk(e)y can have an "e" but doesn't need to. Start mixing and tasting and get ready to post something on Monday the 12th. After you post, let me know here in the comments or send me an e-mail. I'll post the wrap-up a few days later. Thanks!

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 15, 2007

Oxford University Hot Rum Punch

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday is winter warmers. I was thinking of coffee drinks, but since we already did coffee in an earlier Mixology Monday, I wanted to cover something else. I wanted to go old school.

I was looking for a good recipe when I came across this one in Charles Baker's Gentleman's Companion. I thought this would make a great winter warmer, and Baker says it is “most excellent for anyone coming down with anything...” That sounded just about right for the cold weather we've been having.

Oxford Universiy Hot Rum Punch

1.5 bottles barbados rum
1 bottle cognac
3 quarts boiling water
2 cups lemon juice
brown sugar to taste
handful of cloves
Garnish with a spiral of lemon peel.

If you don't need to drink 25 of these, and you don't have a party coming up, you could reduce the recipe like this to make one mug:

1.5 oz barbados rum
1 oz cognac
3 oz boiling water
.5 oz lemon juice
1 barspoon brown sugar (or to taste)
a few cloves
Garnish with a spiral of lemon peel.

I wanted to see how old school this recipe was, and I found a reference in one of the original cocktail guides, Jerry Thomas' How to Mix Drinks (A Bartender's Guide), from 1887. That is old school. The recipe is a bit complicated, and I imagine that the recipe that Baker ran into on his travels was just a simplified version of this one:

Oxford Punch.

(The Punch patronized by the Students of the University of Oxford.)

Take 1 pint of Cognac brandy
1 pint of old Jamaica rum
1 quart of orange shrub*
½ pint of sherry
1 bottle of Capillaire†
2 quarts of boiling water
6 glasses of calfs-foot jelly‡
6 lemons.
4 sweet oranges.
Sufficient loaf-sugar, dissolved in some of the hot water.

Rub the rinds of three lemons with sugar to extract the essential oil. Cut the peel very fine off two more lemons and two of the oranges. Press out the juice of all the oranges and lemons. Place the whole, with the jelly, in a jug and stir well. Pour on the water, and let it stand for twenty minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a large bowl; add the capillaire, spirits, shrub, and wine, stirring well.

I'm sticking to the simplified version, but if anyone goes for the Thomas recipe, please let me know how it comes out. Keep warm all winter long with the full list of all the winter warmers over at Imbibe Unfiltered . They'll have all the links in the wrap-up.

* Orange Shrub was a potent cocktail made with oranges, sugar and rum.
† Capillaire was a sweet syrup with eggwhites and flavorings like orange-flower water or bitter almonds.
‡ Calf's-foot jelly was a gelatin made from calves feet.

Labels: , ,

Friday, January 12, 2007

Gin in the San Francisco Chronicle

Is Gin the next flavored vodka?

Gary Reagan has written a nice article about gin for the San Francisco Chronicle. Gary was kind enough to mention my Habanero Orange Blossom in the article. When I get a chance, I'll post the full recipe here.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Predictions for 2007

New Year's has come and gone. 2006 was a good year for the cocktail. We saw increased interest in good cocktails and premium spirits. The cocktail's 200th birthday. The start of Mixology Monday, and many, many new drink blogs. The rediscovery of rye whiskey started to get mainstream atttention. And vodka (don't ask me why?) was still number one in volume sales.

Here are some random predictions for 2007:

Vodka still number one in sales.
I can't even think of a classic vodka cocktail but this one is still number one.

More Flavors.
The insane drive for more flavors will continue. What's next? Peach and pear flavors? Coffee flavors with caffeine go after the 'energy drink' mixers? Grape flavored vodka?

Cane spirits.
Cachaça growth continues. We'll see more premium cachaça on the market.
Rum stays hot and we'll see more new flavors from Bacardi. New brands of rum and line extensions will become available in the states . Fake Havana Club in The States?

Interest in rye whiskey grows.
Prices continue to rise as more people discover rye and supply stays tight this year. Just think, in five to ten years, they will probably be a glut. (Until then keep your hands off the rye and go get some vodka).

Malt Whisky innovations.
This year we'll continue to see some new whiskies from Scotland that are targeted to new markets. Jon Glaser at Compass Box probably has a few more brilliant ideas in whisky.

More drink and cocktail blogs.
I predict we'll see more drink and cocktail blogs, and continued success with Mixology Monday. Could we have a Mixology Monday with 60 posts?

More posts here at the Cocktail Hour.
I'm going to try to get on the ball this year and post more. I've got some more cocktails recipes. Some great old and new cocktail books to show, and plenty of spirits to taste and review.

Post your predictions in the comments. I'd like to see what you think. What have I got right? What have I got wrong? Have a good 2007. Thanks for supporting this site in 2006.

Labels: , ,