Bernal Heights Milk Punch, July 2010

First off, our next Savoy Cocktail Book night will take place at Alembic Bar August 1st. I hope to see you there!

There’s occasionally confusion about the exact nature of Savoy Cocktail Book night.

A few years ago, the bartenders at Alembic started an event called Savoy Cocktail Book night.

When one of the bartenders left, it sort of fell out of practice.

After they had stopped holding them, I was talking to Daniel Hyatt, bar manager at Alembic, and telling him they should go back to holding the event.

He suggested, if they were going to hold Savoy Cocktail Book night, that I should join them in hosting the event.

Well, twist my arm!

We restarted the monthly Savoy Cocktail Book nights in December of 2008, and have been holding them every month since.

When I’ve talked to people about the event, they are sometimes under the mis-apprehension that we only make a select number of Savoy Cocktails.

That is not the case.

The bar staff at Alembic and I have done our best to find or make every ingredient called for in the book, from Prune Syrup to Kummel to Hercules.

For the evening of the event, The Alembic puts away its regular menu and instead hands out copies of the Savoy Cocktail Book.  We do our best to make any of the 900, or so, cocktails you might order from the book, from Abbey to the Sauterne Cup.

There are a few exceptions: We don’t make cocktails from the 1999 introduction to the book, mostly because they are uniformly horrible and call for ingredients completely at odds with the rest of the book. Passion Fruit Nectar, Banana Schnapps and the like.  We also sometimes can’t make cocktails due to seasonality of the ingredients or because they call for the ingredients to be steeped two hours before the cocktail is served.

We also usually will make a punch or two, though we cannot promise to be able to make any punch in the book a la minute.

In this week’s case, I’m going to be bringing a version of the Savoy Cocktail Book’s “Milk Punch”, which is a reprint of Jerry Thomas’ California Milk Punch recipe.

Amazingly, I’ve been making versions of this Milk Punch for over a year now!

First batch was in June of 2009: Bernal Heights Milk Punch, June 2009

However, until now I have never attempted going full bore and using Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum and Batavia Arrack in the same batch.

Bernal Heights Milk Punch, July 2010

Ingredients:
1 750ml bottle Cognac Park V.S.O.P. (I feel a bit bad about this, but it was the cheapest decent brandy they had at Cask, the only liquor store located near a convenient public transport route and which stocks S&C and Batavia Arrack. You gotta do…)
1 750ml Bottle Smith & Cross Jamaica Rum.
1/2 750ml Bottle Batavia Arrack von Osten.
Peel 4 lemons.
Juice 6 lemons, strained
1 pineapple, chopped and crushed.
6 cloves, crushed.
1 cinnamon stick (cassia).
3 Green Cardamom Pods, crushed.
10 Coriander Seeds, crushed.
4 teaspoons Darjeeling Tea.
16 oz Water.
1/2 # Florida Crystals Natural Sugar.
1 quart Straus Family Creamery Whole Milk.

Method:
Peel lemons and add to Brandy.  Juice 4 lemons and chop pineapple.  Add to rums (including Arrack).  Allow both to infuse for at least 48 hours.

Heat water and add spices and tea. After it has steeped for 10 minutes, strain. Add sugar, stir to combine, and cool.

Juice other two lemons and add to pineapple, lemon, and rum mixture. Heat milk to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Add to Rum, lemon, and pineapple mixture. Allow to stand for 30 minutes and filter through cheesecloth. Strain brandy mixture off peels. Combine Rum mixture, brandy mixture, and syrup. Cool, bottle in clean containers, and chill over night. Filter again through coffee filters, leaving any sediment which has collected in the bottom of the containers behind.  Makes about 3 quarts.

If you’re interested in tasting what funky Jamaica Rum and Batavia Arrack will do in the same punch, stop by Alembic Bar, Sunday, August 1st during our Savoy Cocktail Book night, 6 until around Midnight.