Take a large glass jug and fill it 1/4 full of crushed ice. Pour in the juice of two oranges, a glass of Raspberry Vinegar, a glass of Maraschino, a glass and a half of Gin, and a bottle of Sparkling Moselle or Saumur. Pull a pineapple to pieces with a silver fork and place the pieces in the jug. Stir the mixture, add a little fruit for appearances’s sake, and serve.
The Pineapple Julep has always been a drink that has intrigued me. Why is it a Julep? What on earth is that Raspberry Vinegar doing in there? I didn’t think people started adding vinegar to drinks until the 21st Century! Not to mention, what’s that business with pulling a pineapple to pieces with a “silver fork”?
Since it is my suspicion that many of the older drinks came from some edition of Jerry Thomas’ “Bon Vivant’s Companion”, I thought I would check for the recipe there and see how it compares:
92. Pineapple Julep
Peel, slice, and cut up a ripe pineapple into a glass bowl, add the juice of two oranges, a gill of raspberry syrup, a gill of Maraschino, a gill of old gin, a bottle of sparkling Moselle, and about a pound of pure ice in shaves; mix, ornament with berries in season, and serve in flat glasses.
Uh, whoops, that’s quite a bit different, even if it contains most of the same elements. The biggest difference, being the Savoy’s change from “Raspberry Syrup” to “Raspberry Vinegar”. Bizarre. Typo? Intentional change?
Regarding the Sparkling Moselle in the Julep, I did some searching on the Internets and discovered that the Moselle is a region along the Mosel River in France and Germany. Sparkling wines are, or were, produced in both France (Crémant de Luxembourg) and Germany (Mosel Sekt).
Not sure which to look for a sent a quick note to Heaven’s Dog’s Wine Director, Gus Vahlkamp.
Erik: Gus, If a punch recipe from 1862 called for “Sparkling Moselle”, what
modern wine would you recommend?
Gus: Hi Erik, nice to hear from you. Yes, sekt is your best bet, although most of it comes from the Rheingau these days and not so much from Mosel. Solter is probably the easiest producer to find in SF, but I would check either at Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants or K&L for others. Also I’d imagine that 19th century sekt was probably a little sweeter than the majority of most modern products. I hope that helps. Cheers, Gus.
Well, I never mind a trip to K&L Wines, where I found a single Sekt from the Rheingau, Latitude 50 N Sekt Trocken Weiss, described as follows:
This Methode Champenoise sparkler is made from a combination of pinot blanc, muller-thurgau and silvaner. It is dry, bright and made for food, especially oysters, and this would be just the ideal sparkler to usher in a brand new 2012.
Sparkling German Wine in hand, the only thing which remained to reproduce the original Pineapple Julep Recipe was Raspberry Syrup.
I really liked the Raspberry Syrup I made for the Albemarle Fizz, so I searched the site for the recipe and whipped up another batch:
1/2 cup Water
1 Cup Washed Raw Sugar
1 Cup Frozen Raspberries
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
Combine water and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. When sugar is dissolved, add raspberries and Balsamic Vinegar. Strain through chinois or cheesecloth, mashing to get as much of the liquid as possible. Cool and refrigerate. Makes about 12 ounces.
Regarding the amounts in the Jerry Thomas recipe, a “Gill” is about 4 ounces. Not sure whether Mrs. Flannestad would be up to split the Julep, I decided to make a half batch.
Lastly, depending on the wine you use and the level of sweetness in your ingredients, you may find the Julep comes out too sweet for modern tastes. I know I did, and found it significantly improved with the addition of the juice of 1/2 Lemon.
1/2 Pineapple, peeled and chopped
2 oz Bols Aged Genever
2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
2 oz Raspberry Syrup
Juice 1 Orange
Juice 1/2 Lemon
1/2 Bottle Sparkling Wine
METHOD: Combine Pineapple, Gin, Liqueur, Raspberry Syrup, and Juice in a bowl. Fill half way with crushed ice and top with Sparkling Wine. Stir gently, garnish with berries in season, and ladle into appropriate glassware.
My coworkers and I have occasionally joked, with the horrible ingredients that are often mixed up and sold as “nutcracker” or “crunk juice”, we should get together and bottle a high quality equivalent.
Tasting the Pineapple Julep, I believe I have a starting place for that endeavor! Alize and X Rated Fusion look out, this is some exotically tasty and easy sipping beverage! Pineapple Juleps for all my friends!
Bonus Beer of the Week! Some of my favorite Belgian Beers are actually the less strong ones. Designed to be drunk during the day by the Monks, these are tasty examples of the Belgian style, without so much alcohol.
The Witkap Pater Singel, now called “Stimulo” is one of my favorites.
Witkap·Pater Stimulo (Alc. 6% vol.) is a refreshing gold-colored beer of high fermentation and with fermentation on the bottle – thus a living beer with evolving taste. Pored with care you get a rich, white and stable foam collar with a creamy structure and sticking to the glass. You can smell the aromatic hop flowers of Erembodegem near Aalst (Belgium), a local natural product. You can also smell a strong ferment typically for the Witkap-Pater. Their are no other taste-makers used. During degustation you get a taste sensation starting with a soft mouth filling taste, passing in the a refreshing taste and ending with a tasty hop-bitter after taste.
This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, the, uh, Sauterne Cup.