Ben Franklin’s Milk Punch

Just so you know I’m not completely nuts, here is Ben Franklin’s recipe for Milk Punch, circa 1763, via documents on the Massachusetts Historical Society website.

Ben Franklin’s Milk Punch

Franklin’s Milk Punch recipe shares characteristics of two types of beverages–possets and syllabubs. Possets combine hot milk with ale, wine, or brandy, sugar, and spices. Heat and alcohol curdle the milk. Possets were used as remedies for colds, and were consumed from the spout of a posset cup, which let one drink the whey from the bottom and eat the curd later. Syllabubs combine milk with wine and lemon juice (or other acids); the acid from the wine and juice curdle the milk. Served in a glass, the foamy curd of the syllabub is eaten with a spoon and the punch drunk.

To make Milk Punch

Take 6 quarts of Brandy, and the Rinds of 44 Lemons pared very thin; Steep the Rinds in the Brandy 24 hours; then strain it off. Put to it 4 Quarts of Water, 4 large Nutmegs grated, 2 quarts of Lemon Juice, 2 pound of double refined Sugar. When the Sugar is dissolv’d, boil 3 Quarts of Milk and put to the rest hot as you take it off the Fire, and stir it about. Let it stand two Hours; then run it thro’ a Jelly-bag till it is clear; then bottle it off. –

As you can see, I’m not taking too many liberties! The brandy would have been cask strength at the time, thus I feel OK using a bit less liquid. I have to say, though, he was pretty liberal with the citrus!

Taco Tuesday Feb 22, 2011

Taco Tuesday.

An Al Pastor, Chile Rojo Chicken, and Chile Colorado taco from El Metate. Sorry about the White Balance.

We had tickets to see Justin Townes Earle this last Tuesday, so didn’t have time for any homemade tacos.

I like Mr. Justin Townes Earle, think he is a talented singer, guitar player, and song writer, but some of his “schtick” made me a tad uncomfortable.

He talked a bit about how he had been scheduled to perform at last year’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, but had been unable to attend. He explained that he had ongoing problems with substance abuse and incarceration (concert crowd cheers), and that he had actually been in jail when he was supposed to be performing at Hardly Strictly. He said the problem was he liked the alcohol and the cocaine, but that once he started, he liked it just a little bit too much, starting in the shower in the morning (crowd cheers) and continuing throughout the day until somehow he always ended up in jail (crowd cheers).

Words, then, to the effect, “I’ve made it this far, and haven’t died or killed anybody. It will happen again. I don’t see a reason to change unless I kill someone, and I don’t see that happening. If you love me, get used to it.”

He then dedicated this song to, “Knowing better, but still fucking up.” (Crowd Cheers, loudly!)

Young Man Cocktail

The countdown to the last “Cocktail” continues.

Say it with me, “FIVE!”

Young Man Cocktail
1 Dash Angostura Bitters. (1 dash Angostura Bitters)
2 Dashes Curacao. (1/2 teaspoon Clement Liqueur Creole Shrubb)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica Italian Vermouth)
3/4 Brandy. (2 1/4 oz Osocalis Brandy)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. Add olive or cherry (Olive!).

I have these great Agrinion Olives from Greece, so it wasn’t entirely perversity that led me to choose to garnish with an olive rather than a cherry. All the same, I suppose a cherry would be the more 20th-21st Century garnish.

Maybe I can start something new for the future? Random Cherries or Olives in cocktails.

Nah, probably not.

If I hadn’t been out of decent cherries, I would probably have preferred it.

Other than that, the Young Man is a perfectly enjoyable Brandy Manhattan, nothing wrong with that. I feel younger already.

…But maybe that’s just the burden of making more Savoy Cocktails being lifted from my back…

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.