Meyer Lemon Rickey

A friend recently came back with some pictures from Pouring Ribbons in New York. Apparently, the talented bartenders there have been doing interesting things with ice.

In one case, they make puck shaped ice circles which nearly perfectly fit in an old fashioned type rocks glass. They build a portion of the drink, place the cube in the glass, then pour another portion of the drink on top of the cube. As the drink sits, the two parts slowly come together as the ice melts.

Dammit, Joaquin, you are making us look like we are not trying!

The idea of a drink that evolves as you consume it has always appealed to me, whether it was layers or flavors which come out as it warms, or through some other physical process.

At Alembic, where I sometimes work, they have been making ice made from water lightly flavored with cucumber for one of their drinks.

I like tea, so I was wondering about making ice from tea. Could you make a drink evolve by using ice made from strong tea?

I have a comical comment in my notebook, “Long Island Tea Ice,” which cracked me up when I first thought of it.

A few weeks ago, Erik Adkins had asked me about some posts I had written on eGullet in 2007 regarding the Rickey. I had to do some internet autopsy action to even remember what I had written.

The Rickey is a simple drink: Spirit, Lemon (or lime), and Soda. A very literal Highball with Lemon.

From Gary Regan’s writeup of the Rickey:

Whiskey Joe Rickey is Cool, Lemon or Lime

Joe Rickey disavowed the drink, though, saying in an interview published in an Ohio newspaper in 1900, “The ‘rickey’ originated in Washington, and I was in a sense responsible for it. You see, it was like this: I never drank whisky neat – it’s a mighty injurious system – but whisky diluted with a little water won’t hurt anybody. Of course, a carbonated water makes it brighter and more palatable, and for that reason I always took a long drink, usually whisky and water with a lump of ice.

“This is the highball of common commerce, and has been known to thirsty humanity for many generations. To this, however, I added the juice of a lemon in my desire to get a healthful drink, for the lemon acid is highly beneficial and tones up the stomach wonderfully.

“This combination became very popular at Shoomaker’s in Washington, where I did most of my drinking, and gradually the folks began asking for those drinks that Rickey drinks. About this time the use of limes became fairly common, and one afternoon an experimenter tried the effect of lime juice instead of lemon juice in the drink, and from that time on all ‘rickey’ were made from limes.

“I never drink the lime juice combination myself because I think the lemon acid is mellower and more beneficial.”

That may be, but the juice of a whole regular modern lemon makes for a pretty tart drink.

Thinking about that, myself, I thought of Meyer Lemons and their slightly lower acid content. Plus, I’ve always liked the gamey-thyme like flavor of their peel with Rye Whiskey.

Also, what if I upped the complexity of the drink a bit, by using the tea flavored ice?

If you’re using tea flavored ice, you might as well use a strong flavored tea…

Meyer Lemon Rickey

Rye Whiskey Rickey, with Meyer Lemon and Tea Ice

1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey
Juice 1 Meyer Lemon
1 Lapsang Souchong Tea Ice Cube*
Soda Water

Pour the Rye Whiskey and Lemon over the ice cube in a highball glass (smallish is better, 8 oz is best). Stir briefly. Top with a little soda and stir once.

*Lapsang Souchong Tea is a black tea dried by smoking over a fire. It displays strong campfire notes. Brew a double strong batch of tea (2 tsp per cup) and pour into ice cube molds. Freeze.

At first you don’t really notice the smoke notes of the ice, but by the end, you wonder, “Is this a Scotch Rickey”?

Stay tuned for Long Island Tea Ice…

Angostura Fizz

In his book, “The Gentleman’s Companion,” Charles Baker includes a drink called an Angostura Fizz.

THE ANGOSTURA FIZZ, sometimes Called the Trinidad Fizz, Being a Receipt Gleaned from One of Our Friends Piloting the Big Brazilian Clipper from Here to Trinidad & Rio & on South to “B.A.”

This mild fizz is again like the initial olive sampling; either it suits or it doesn’t, and subsequent trials often show sudden shift to appreciation. It is a well-known stomachic along the humid shores of Trinidad, in British Guiana; wherever the climate is hot and the humidity high, and stomachs stage sit-down strikes and view all thought of food–present or future–with entire lack of enthusiasm. Further than this, the cinchona bark elixir in the Angostura, the other herbs and valuable simples, are a definite first line defense against malaria and other amoebic fevers–especially in warding off their after effect in later months when all actual peril is past.

Take 1 pony of Angostura Bitters, add 1 tsp of sugar or grenadine, the juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 lime, the white of 1 egg, and 1 tbsp of thick cream–or slightly less. Shake with cracked ice like a cocktail, turn into a goblet and fill to suit individual taste with club soda, seltzer, vichy, or whatever lures the mind. Vary the sweet also, to suit taste. It is a very original, cooling drink as well as a valuable tonic to those dwelling in hot countries. Garnish with sticks of ripe fresh pineapple, always.

Uh, right, Baker at his verbose best, how about this for some less romantic simplification:

Angostura Fizz

1 pony Angostura Bitters (Baker’s “Pony” is an ounce)
1 tsp sugar or Grenadine (to taste)
Juice of 1/2 Lemon or 1 Lime
1 Egg White
1 tbsp thick Cream

Shake with cracked ice and pour into a goblet. Fill with club soda, seltzer, or vichy (to taste). Garnish with a pieces of pineapple.

A few years ago, an Italian Bartender named Valentino Bolognese won some cocktail competitions with an Angostura heavy Pisco Sour sweetened with Orgeat.

Trinidad Especial
1 oz Angostura Aromatic bitters
1 oz orgeat syrup
2/3 oz lime juice
1/3 oz Pisco Mistral
Shake well with ice and fine strain in to a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime zest twist.

Even more recently, Guiseppe Gonzalez came up with a variation on the Trinidad Especial for the New York Bar The Clover Club with, what else, Rye Whiskey instead of Pisco:

Trinidad Sour
1 oz Angostura Aromatic bitters
1 oz orgeat syrup
¾ oz lemon juice
½ oz rye
Shake well with ice and fine strain in to a cocktail glass.

Last night one of our regular guests came in, wanting something to drink but feeling like his previous drinks, and dinner, hadn’t agreed with him. He wanted “Something Fizzy”.

With all those drinks mashed together in my head, I figured I could make him an Angostura Fizz. And indeed, it seemed to fix him right up!

Angostura Fizz
1/2 oz Angostura Bitters
1 oz White Demerara Rum
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup (or to taste)
1/2 oz Egg White
Soda Water

Shake Bitters, Rum, Lime, Simple Syrup, and Egg White together vigorously without ice. Add ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a Fizz Glass and top with chilled soda water.

Jersey Daisy (for Deragon)

One evening while working at Heaven’s Dog, I was graced with the presence of another man who lives a double life in Tech and Booze. John Deragon was, at the time, working for PDT and at the same time maintaining a second life as a highly placed Information Technology worker in some aspect of the Hearst organization.

I had made him my version of the Aviation and he was next interested in a cocktail of a more aromatic bent. Thinking something Brooklyn-ish, I wondered about what I could make that he hadn’t already experienced. He suggested a cocktail which I believe was of his own devising, The Jersey.

Composed as follows, it turns out to be quite delicious, amazingly taming two rather extreme liqueurs by pitting them against one another:

Jersey Cocktail
2 oz Laird’s Bonded Applejack
3/4 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1/4 oz Fernet Branca

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an Orange Twist.

Looking through the Daisy recipes I’d made so far, I felt they were strangely amiss without one based on Apple Brandy. Thinking back on Mr. Deragon’s Jersey, I came up with the following.


Jersey Daisy (for Deragon)

1 oz Rittenhouse Bonded Rye*
1 oz Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy*
Juice 1/2 Lemon
1/4 oz Rich Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Fernet Branca (for float)

Peel lemon as for Crusta and line wine glass with peel. Half fill with Cracked ice. Shake all ingredients other than Fernet Branca with ice and strain into glass. Fill with Soda and float on Fernet. Garnish with strawberry and mint and serve with a straw.

*In the event of actual New York Bartenders, please bump the Laird’s and Rye up to at least 1 1/2 ounces each.

Received Goods: Bulleit Rye Whiskey

There is a ridiculously dorky youtube phenomenon called “unboxing”. When a tech geek gets a fancy new gizmo or game, they make a video of themselves opening up the box. Weird, eh? Well, I thought it might be funny to apply the same to booze. I am a booze geek, after all.

I know the conventions of “unboxing” are usually that you talk about the thing while you open it. But I figured, I’d just show making a cocktail, instead.

When life gives you Rye Whiskey, make Sazeracs!

And a fine Sazerac it does make.

Trying it on it’s own, I found it to be surprising mellow, though it did lack a real finish or presence in the glass.

Still, for around $25 for 750ml, the Bulleit Rye is not a bad deal at all for a mixing Rye Whiskey.

If you have sharp eyes, you will notice that is a big bag of Meyer Lemons some friends gave me from the tree in their back yard. Meyer Lemon Peel, not exactly kosher for Sazeracs, as their zest has a sort of weird Thyme and white pepper-like scent.

Still a tasty Sazerac, if a bit culinarily herbal.

Music in the background from Mr. Colin Stetson‘s new release, “New History Warfare Volume 2: Judges“.

Questions and addenda:

Mahon McGrath, Q: “While it definitely isn’t a powerhouse or complex, it IS nice to see a decent new rye come on the market at around $20.”

A: “It would be pretty interesting to do a blind tasting of all the Ryes produced at LDI and see which came out on top. But, I agree, the Bulleit Rye is a good product and it’s very nice to see the company choosing to market it at a reasonable price point.”

Ben, Q: “Sorry that the the Bulleit Rye didn’t impress more – I had high hopes for it. I’m hoping to discover that our opinions differ when I get my hands on it. You should try the Redemption releases if you haven’t yet – their rye is 95% rye grain in the mash (like Bulleit), their high rye bourbon is ~36% rye (if memory serves), and they price around $26-29 a bottle. Love to know what you think about these. I like them a lot, and would put up the Redemption Rye up against the pricier Templeton (the other rye I have right now).

“Since we have a Meyer Lemon tree in our yard, that’s what has been going in my Sazeracs and Vieux Carrés (and the wife’s Sidecars and Lemon Drops). I’ll have to do a taste test against other lemons – Eureka from the market or Ponderosa from a friend’s tree…”

A: “Bulleit, Redemption, Templeton, and Willet all get their Rye Whiskey from LDI in Lawrenceburg, IN, none of them are distilling this spirit themselves.. You can tell from the signature 95% Rye, 5% Barley mashbill. High West also gets some of the Rye they use for their Vatted (Blended?) Whiskeys from LDI.

“I need to rewrite this post a bit, it comes off too negative. There are a lot of things to like about Bulleit, first off being the price. Among the Ryes in the $20-30 price range, I think only Rittenhouse stands out as the only one I would buy instead of Bulleit. And there are a bunch of Ryes in the $30-40 range I would pick it over. So it isn’t bad at all.

“It’s just I’ve been drinking a lot of high quality pot still whiskeys lately, and the Bulleit Rye just doesn’t hold a candle to the length and interest you get from those, mixing or sipping. YMMV.”

From Scott Brown, Q: “Almost bout a bottle of this today as it just showed up in our shops in Connecticut, how is it as an evening dram to sip?”

A: “Scott, a friend and I did a tasting of several Ryes last night and found the Bulleit to be the least complex of the bunch. Not harsh or unpleasant in any way, but to us it lacked the complexity you’d look for in a “sipping” spirit.

“That said, if I could only spend around $20 for a good all around Rye, and couldn’t get Rittenhouse Bonded, I would probably pick the Bulleit. In fact, there are probably several ryes in the $30-40 range that I would pass over for the Bulleit.”

Ward 8 Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, November 28th, 2010, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders (and me) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

Ward Eight Cocktail
1 Teaspoonful Grenadine. (1 generous tsp. Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
1/4 Orange Juice. (3/4 oz Orange Juice)
1/4 Lemon Juice. (3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
1/2 Rye Whisky. (1 1/2 oz Michter’s US 1 Straight Rye)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I suspect The Savoy Cocktail Book may have cribbed this from Robert Vermiere’s “Cocktails: How to Mix Them”. Vermeire notes, “This cocktail originates from Boston (U.S.A.), a city divided into eight wards.”

On his writeup of a couple years ago, fellow blogger Paul Clarke, of Cocktail Chronicles, further informs:

The Ward Eight purportedly dates back more than a century, to a time when politics could be truly bare-knuckle. Rumored to have been created at the Locke-Ober (the second oldest restaurant in Boston) to celebrate the victory of Martin Lomasney’s 1898 campaign for a seat representing Boston’s Eighth Ward—a celebration that suitably took place the night before the election—the Ward Eight is a simple twist on a whiskey sour.

For me, it reminds me of the first or second time young Thomas Waugh served me when he was working at Alembic Bar. I asked for the Ward Eight from the Classic side of the menu and he said something like, “I like to make this on the sour side, is that all right?” I replied in the affirmative, as I preferred nicely tart drinks to over sweetened concoctions. What I got, though, was a bit beyond the sour that I was used to making for myself and slightly into uncomfortable territory.

Drinking this now, I think what Thomas was making was probably exactly this recipe, with only a teaspoon of grenadine as sweetener.

The problem we have, though, is that the recipe is proportional, yet the sweetener is called for in an absolute volume.

Fortunately, while Craddock was mostly proportional in his recipe writing, Robert Vermeire was not, calling for his cocktails to be based on a half gill of total volume. A half Gill ends up somewhere a bit more than 2 ounces, so I was being generous here with my 3 oz pour. So sue me, I like Whiskey Sours.

Ultimately, the amount of grenadine you use falls to personal taste, but I think you should try put this one near the edge of your tolerance for tartness. It shouldn’t be a rich drink, it should be a tart tonic.

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.

MxMo–BBS

To be honest, variations on the Manhattan Cocktail are just about my favorite cocktails in the whole world. So when I heard Lindsey from the blog, “Brown, Bitter, and Stirred,” was hosting a Mixology Monday, I knew I had no choice but to participate.  But what to feature?  Well perhaps my favorite new bitter substance, Gran Classico, from Tempus Fugit Sprits.

Gran Classico

According to the importers, Gran Classico is a “Bitter of Turin”, as is Campari.  It is a bit similar to Campari in some ways, but in others more interesting.  Campari’s bitterness is very single noted, almost entirely Quinine and Gentian, without much additional subtlety.  Gran Classico, on the other hand, is deliciously complex, with quite a bit more varied herbal notes than Campari.

With the recent release of Gran Classico, a lot of people have been resurrecting the Old Pal Cocktail: Equal parts Rye, Campari, and Dry Vermouth, but replacing the Campari with Gran Classico. It is gosh darn delicious.

While I was thinking about which Campari recipes worked well with Gran Classico and which didn’t, another of my favorite cocktails came to mind: The Brooklyn.

Now I’ve been known to mess up the Brooklyn recipe, it is true, making it by accident, or intention, with Sweet Vermouth or Punt e Mes instead of Dry Vermouth.

So I thought I’d mess with it a bit more.

Eighteenth Cocktail

2 oz Rye
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc
1/2 oz Gran Classico Bitter
1 barspoon Luxardo Maraschino

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel over glass and drop in.

As it is traditional to name Brooklyn variations after neighborhoods or districts, I cast about for some inspiration. I made up the cocktail at our house, in Bernal Heights. As much as I love Bernal Heights, this really didn’t seem like a “Bernal Heights” cocktail. Maybe after the area where Heaven’s Dog is located? Nope, “SOMA Cocktail” even less appealing than Bernal Heights.

I asked the importer of Gran Classico the name of the neighborhood he lived in. He replied, “Bahia”. I was like, wha? Maybe if this was made with aged Cachaca or Pisco instead of Rye Whiskey…  After a long bit of back and forth involving home towns, neighborhoods, and other sundry geographical designations, I finally asked him the neighborhood where his business partner lived in Paris. “He lives in the 18th, or Dix-Huitième in French.” Whew, finally, something I can hang with! The Eighteenth Cocktail. Mysterious enough to be puzzling, but not obscure.  The fact that it was his partner’s neighborhood even gives it a good story. That works!

Now I like this cocktail as it is, but some have said it is a tad sweet. It’s not far from most modern Brooklyn variations, like the Slope or Greenpoint, but if you are a person who prefers aperitif type drinks, it is also good as a more literal Brooklyn, using Dry Vermouth instead of Blanc.  Give the Eighteenth Cocktail a try either way, and let me know what you think.

Piggerac

Bonus Sazerac!

I challenged myself to post 28 Sazeracs in 28 days for the month of February, but I’m not quite done. We’ve got a few bonus Sazeracs coming up that didn’t fit into the month of February.

I’ll try some different spirits, try some out at bars, and have some friends make them for me.

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Piggerac

1 1/2 oz Calvados Reserve, Roger Groult
1/2 oz Pork Belly Fat Washed Wild Boar, er Turkey, Rye
1/4 oz “Orchard Syrup”*
Dash Peychaud’s

Stir and strain into a chilled absinthe rinsed glass. Twist a fat swath of freshly cut lemon peel over the drink and drop in or discard as you prefer.

Tsunami Advisory.

One of the sort of ridiculous things about having a ridiculously cute dog, is that you often meet people at the dog park. Really, they just want to pat your dog, but for better or for worse, they also have to talk to you. For a while I’ve occasionally been getting sandwiches at Pal’s Takeaway in San Francisco. One morning I noticed that one of the men who worked there walked his dog in a park near my home.  We had chatted about our dogs, but not really made the connection between non-dog walk life and dog-walk life.   On one of my off days, when Monty and I were on the way to the beach, I stopped at Pal’s to get a Sandwich for lunch and said, “Hey, didn’t we meet the other day walking our dogs?”  Struck up an acquaintance of sorts.  Some time later, walking our dogs, we got to talking again and it turned out he was enormously fond of Rye Whiskey.  A man after my own heart!  Anyway, as we were jawing about booze, he mentioned he was curious about these meat infused whiskies he’d been hearing about.  I said, “Yeah, cool, fat washing is fun, but I think you need a really smoky bacon.  I tried it once with the Niman bacon and was pretty underwhelmed.”  “You want bacon?  I can get you bacon!  I cure and smoke my own!”

A bit later, one night when I got home, there was a canning jar full of Fat Rendered from Cured Pork Belly and a Meyer Lemon sitting on our steps.

Obviously, I needed to revisit fat washing!

Keeping mind that he had said he really liked Rye Whiskey, I decided to forgo the usual Bourbon/Bacon axis and go with Wild Turkey Rye instead.  I followed the P.D.T. instructions, adding a generous ounce of hot pork fat to the rye, infusing for a few hours, then freezing to separate.  I also embellished, in my usual free association manner, adding a teaspoon of toasted caraway seeds to the Rye.  As I was tasting the final product, I was pretty sure that all I was tasting was pork, no smoke.  Interesting and very, very porky.

I brought the pork fat washed rye in to the most recent Savoy Cocktail Book night, where opinions varied.  Generally, the opinions were split between, “I can’t even think of drinking that,” and, “This is wrong, but I can’t stop drinking it.”

Amusingly, Daniel Hyatt had been making drinks for a Cochon 555 Event in Napa that day, so for him, it was a little beyond the pale.  “I’ve just had 10 plates of pork, and man, is this whiskey porky.” He did finish the glass, I believe, despite it probably not being in his best interest.  Anyway, as we were chatting about what to do with the pork fat washed rye and he mentioned cutting it with Calvados to temper some of the pork-i-ness.

Letting that percolate for a couple days, I decided to give it a try in a Sazerac mixed with Calvados.  But Calvados reminded me of Jennifer Colliau’s experiments with “Orchard Syrup“.  I’d always meant to give an Orchard Syrup a try, so figured: Pork. Caraway. Apples. Why the Hell Not?

*Tiny Orchard Syrup

1 cup Apple Cider
1/8 Cup Natural Sugar
1 Clove
1/2 teaspoon Caraway Seed

Reduce to 1/4 Cup and strain out spices.

Huh, that orchard syrup IS really tasty, I’d pour it over ice cream, no problem. Nice viscosity, too. Pectins?

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Anyway, should you dare drink a Piggerac, I hope you are imagining a perfectly browned whole suckling pig, apple in its mouth, crisp skin crackling as you cut, unctuous fat oozing through your fingers. Lift the haunch to your mouth. Go on, take a bite. You know you want to.

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.

Sazerac Cocktail (Presidio Social Club)

Bonus Sazerac!

I challenged myself to post 28 Sazeracs in 28 days for the month of February, but I’m not quite done. We’ve got a few bonus Sazeracs coming up that didn’t fit into the month of February.

I’ll try some different spirits, try some out at bars, and have some friends make them for me.

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Sazerac Cocktail.
1 Lump of Sugar.
1 Dash Angostura or Peychana Bitters.
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (Pikesville Rye)

Stir well and strain into another glass that has been cooled and rinsed with 1 dash Absinthe (Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe) and squeeze lemon peel on top.

I’ve known Mr. Tim Stookey for a few years now and he has always impressed me as a gracious host and stylish dresser. A couple months ago we both worked a cocktail catering event and shared a bar. Tim worked the early shift, and I closed down the night. When he was leaving, he left his nice cast aluminum ice scoop, not wanting me to be left with a pressed stainless number. I thanked him, and promised I would get it back to him as soon as I could.

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Unfortunately, the bar he works at, Presidio Social Club, is a bit out of the way for us unless we are attending a concert at the Palace of Fine Arts, so “as soon as possible” stretched into a couple months.  Fortunately, in recent months we’ve been to the Palace of Fine Arts to see a couple concerts, Tinariwen and Dodos, enabling us to stop by, enjoy some dinner, drinks, chat with Mr. Stookey and finally return his ice scoop.

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Clearly a Sazerac or two was in order at the Presidio Social Club’s gorgeous long marble bar!

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And a fine, delicious Sazerac it was, classic proportions with an unusual Rye Choice, Pikesville, and a great absinthe!

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Mrs. Flannestad enjoying a non-Sazerac favorite of hers, The Last Word Cocktail.  Tim actually introduced her to the Last Word several years ago, and it has become her go to choice for just about any occasion.

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.

Sazerac Cocktail (Jim Beam Rye)

Bonus Sazerac!

I challenged myself to post 28 Sazeracs in 28 days for the month of February, but I’m not quite done. We’ve got a few bonus Sazeracs coming up that didn’t fit into the month of February.

I’ll try some different spirits, try some out at bars, and have some friends make them for me. Hopefully, if I can get my act together we’ll have some video.

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Sazerac Cocktail.
1 Lump of Sugar. (10ml Puerh Tea Syrup)
1 Dash Angostura or Peychana Bitters.
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (Jim Beam Rye Whiskey)

Stir well and strain into another glass that has been cooled and rinsed with 1 dash Absinthe (Lucid) Squeeze lemon peel on top and discard or drop in as you prefer.

The nice thing about most Rye Whiskey is that there is a fairly direct relationship between cost and character. While the last couple years have seen the launch of some premium and super-premium brands, it remains a not particularly trendy spirit among whiskey connoisseurs.

Even though the Jim Beam Rye is pretty much the cheapest Rye Whiskey on the market, it isn’t at all a bad spirit at all. I definitely wanted to include it in the month of Sazeracs. However, in February when I went to the local BevMo, they were sold out of Beam Rye! Crap! Towards the end of the month, when I was shopping for Rye for the Rye Whiskey Milk Punch, they finally had it back in stock. Whew!

The night I was making the Rye Whiskey Milk Punch, I had a little too much Tea Syrup to fit into the container. If there is anything wrong with Beam Rye, it is that it lacks a bit of character. I thought, hey, Tea Syrup! Let’s make the Beam Sazerac with that!

Adding 10ml of the Tea Syrup is pretty subtle rectification, I don’t know that I would be able to identify it unless I were comparing the same drinks side by side, with and without. Still, I’d say it adds an element of interest to what otherwise would be a somewhat pedestrian Sazerac.

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.

Sazerac Milk Punch

I was getting a bit low on the previous Milk Punch, so it seemed like it was time for another batch.  Hmmm…  What if I use some of the same ingredients typically found in a Sazerac?

Sazerac Milk Punch

Ingredients:

750ml Old Overholt Rye
750ml Wild Turkey Rye
375ml Smith & Cross Jamaican rum
7 Lemons
1 1/2 cups water
3 cups Sugar Florida Crystals Natural Sugar
1 Puerh Tea Disk
1 Quart Straus Farm Whole Milk
Absinthe

Method:

Steeping Peels

Combine the spirits in a container large enough to hold them and a little extra. Peel and juice 5 of the lemons. Add juice and peels to spirits and let stand for 2 days.

Puerh Tea

Steep tea in hot water for 5 mins and add sugar. Stir to dissolve. Strain out tea leaves and cool.

Milk Solids

Strain Peels out of booze mixture. Add tea syrup to booze. Squeeze juice from remaining lemons and add to mixture. Heat milk to 145 degrees and add too mixture. Let stand for 30 minutes undisturbed.

Milk Solids

Filter through cheesecloth, removing curdled milk solids.

Absinthe

Add absinthe until you can just begin to taste it.

Sazerac Milk Punch

Bottle in clean resealable containers and chill until you are ready to serve.  Makes about 3 liters. To serve, pour over ice and top with 1 part soda to 2 parts punch.

Mrs. Flannestad remarked, “If you meant to make this taste boozy, you have succeeded.”  Not sure if it really tastes much like a Sazerac, but it does taste like a delicious Rye Whiskey Milk Punch. I was going to bring this along to tonight’s Savoy Cocktail Book event, but clearly that would be very, very wrong with the new paradigm being enforced by the California Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control.

Are My Favorite Bartenders Going to be Sent to Jail?”

ABC Crackdown on Infused Liquors

Your Favorite Cocktail Could Get A Bartender Fined

State warns Bay Area bars not to infuse drinks

Illegal Infusions: The Word Gets Out

And the best commentary I’ve seen so far, from Dinah and Joe over at Bibulo.us: Echoes of Prohibition. Well, Joe is an actual Lawyer…

So let me get this straight, Sangria is illegal!!??  Don’t tell the Spanish!  Any pre-prepared Punch forbidden?  Jerry Thomas turns over in his grave and David Wondrich gets incrementally grayer!  Any house made liqueur, tincture, or bitters is now verboten!?  I’m so glad that vile commercial products made with corn syrup, artificial flavoring and artificial color are just fine and I can’t make an infusion with actual fruit!!!

Basically any alcoholic mixture not mixed a la minute or involving an alcoholic ingredient not purchased through the distribution chain is against the rules?

Time to join the punch making, spirits infusing, speakeasy underground!