Baladin – GINGER SODA This ginger soda contains no colorings or preservatives. It’s ingredients are simply water, natural brown sugar, lemon juice, carbon dioxide and the unmistakable infusion of herbs, zests of bitter and sweet oranges from Garagno PGI, spices and vanilla which gives it its distinctive aroma and flavor.
We were just lamenting the loss of Sanbitter, one of the more similar beverages might be Baladin “Ginger”. I have no idea why it is called “Ginger”, it tastes more like Aperol and Soda. Maybe a bit more grapefruit, than Aperol’s Orange, but pretty darn similar.
I think “Garagno PGI” might be a mis-spelling/abbreviation of Gargano, Puglia.
**Cough**Yes, the name of the article is **ahem** inaccurate, at least in my case!
I drew the lucky straw and they started at my house at 11 AM. Made Ramos Fizzes and served coffee and pastries.
The second stop was at Josh Harris’ apartment in the Mission.
He served us a drink made with Sanbitter and Fever Tree Bitter Lemon, about 50/50, on cracked ice, which totally hit the spot on that ridiculously, unseasonably, hot November day.
I’ve spent most of the rest of the last few months trying to track down some Sanbitter, I enjoyed that non-alcoholic aperitif so much, but not had much luck.
This month, a month of ‘experimenting with sobriety’, I really wanted to track them down, but BevMo! was out stock on both Fever Tree Bitter Lemon and Sanbitter.
I remembered seeing some bottles at Tower Market, before it became Molly Stone’s, but they didn’t really turn over the inventory with the new management, so I had some hope it would still be there. Score one for slow inventory turn over.
Fever Tree Bitter Lemon is exactly that, a sort of cross between lemon soda and tonic water. One of my favorites of Fever Tree’s flavors.
Sanbitter is sort of a non-alcoholic campari-soda. It’s maybe a bit more cherry-ish, than Campari, but similar in flavor with a nice bitter aftertaste.
Right up my alley.
Combining them is a great idea, Thanks Josh! I’m told, they should have this combo at the new and excellent Trick Dog, if you don’t feel like tracking down your own carton of Sanbitter.*
*Update! Apparently, the Sanbitter product has been discontinued, so the Sanbitter & Bitter Lemon Highball will NOT be on the menu at Trickdog. They still have 3 excellent non-alcoholic drinks, so go anyway!
So, the thing about the chemical components which cause ginger to seem spicy-hot, is that they degrade quickly. If you make a ginger syrup, it will stop being very spicy within a very few days, even refrigerated.
However, some Ginger Ales and Ginger Beers are very spicy. How can this be?
Well, among the ‘natural flavorings’ the manufacturers use to flavor these spicy Ginger beverages, you will find the chemical component which causes chile peppers to be spicy, Capsaicin.
Yep, the same stuff in Pepper Spray.
Though, I can’t say that carrying a bottle of Blenheim Ginger Ale will probably have quite the same deterrent effect as pepper spray. Not a recommended substitute.
Baladin – CEDRATA SODA A journey for the tastes of times gone by. A taste that our memory has registered but has been hiding for a very long time. This is what Cedrata Baladin represents. Its ingredients are simply water, natural brown sugar, lemon juice, carbon dioxide, and the infusion of Calabria citron from Diamante, which gives it its distinctive aroma and flavor. Cedrata Baladin is produced with simple and selected ingredients and contains no colorings or preservatives. A unique drink with an unmistakable taste.
Baladin Cedrata is Lemon soda. It has a nice natural tasting honeyed sweetness, but no bitterness. It’s OK, but I’d prefer something along the lines of bitter lemon. This is Kid stuff.
Baladin SPUMA NERA SODA Younger drinkers will certainly find “unusual” the taste of this drink and may wonder what it reminds them of. If they know that Spuma Nera, or “dark” as it was once called, could be considered the “mother” of chinotto, then they would know where they have already tasted it. In making this drink, we have gone back to the traditional recipe, which forsees – as the basis for the mertyle-leaf orange drink chinotto – the use of the pink part of the rhubarb root as well as an orange zest infususion. Of course, no colorings or preservatives are added.
Baladin Spuma Nera reminds me most of a non-alcoholic Campari, Sweet Vermouth, and soda, aka a non-alcoholic Americano. Quite tasty, with a light sweetness and bitterness. If I were in the business of making soft drinks, this is the type of thing I would aim for.
Had these first at the Mario Batali Italian food Wonderland, Eataly, in New York. Have since discovered that Avedano’s carries it.
Found this very nice, not overly sweet and nicely bitter tonic water with some citrus character from Italy at Avedano’s. Ultimately, probably no more expensive than fever tree or Q. May be my new favorite!
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:
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.
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:
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!
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
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.
There’s a bunch of stuff to get out of the way with the drink called the “Highball”.
First off, like with the Martini, there is a modern tendency to use the name “Highball” for a whole class of drinks. In the case of the Highball, people use it as a category name for any drink with spirits and a carbonated mixer served over ice. Gin and Tonics are Highballs, Dark and Stormies are Highballs, Bulldogs are Highballs, Sleepyheads are Highballs, Seven and Sevens are Highballs.
Personally, I tend not to be so inclusive.
Highballs are shortish drinks served over a rock or two of ice and composed of spirits and soda water. Maybe Ginger Ale, but only if you’re a girl.
There’s a letter to the New York Times in the archive attributed to one “Patrick J. Duffy” from October 25, 1927.
To summarize the article, an English actor came in to Mr. Patrick J. Duffy’s bar in the early 1890s and asked for a “Scotch and Soda” and was surprised to discover that Mr. Duffy did not stock Scotch, except in casks and mostly for winter warmers. The actor provided a reference, or source, for Scotch, presumably in bottles, and soon Mr. Duffy was selling nearly nothing but Scotch and Sodas or “Scotch Highballs” as the actor called the new drink.
It doesn’t sound like Duffy invented the drink, as the English actor asked for it, or that he named it, as he also gives the credit to the actor for that.
Here’s the first paragraph of Mr. Duffy’s Letter:
An editorial in THE TIMES says that the Adams House, Boston, claims to have served the first Scotch highball in this country. This claim is unfounded. The honor not only of making the first Scotch highball but of first introducing “case” Scotch whisky into this country belongs to E. J. Ratcliffe, the actor, who came here in the early 90′s from London with Mary Anderson’s company of players and who later was a leading actor in the old Lyceum Stock Company when that theatre was between Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Streets on Fourth Avenue.
Use medium size glass.
1 Lump of Ice.
1 Glass of any Spirit, Liqueur or Wine desired. (2 oz Yamazaki 12*) Fill glass with syphon soda water or split soda. Ginger Ale can be used if preferred. Add twist of lemon peel if desired.
So, as we talked about on the Collins Post, sometimes there is a problem with glassware.
As a cocktail geek, one of the notable things I like to check out in pictures of pre-prohibition bars is the large variety of glassware.
However, after prohibition, or at least by the 1970s, we were down to pretty much these three glasses for Drinks: Collins, Cocktail, and Bucket.
The modern tendency is to use the same tall 12-14 ounce Collins Glass for the Collins family and Highballs. However, Mr. Duffy, the person who allegedly introduced the Highball to American audiences, is very clear: The Highball is served in a 8 ounce glass.
So, two ounces of spirit, a large-ish hand cut cube, and maybe another two ounces of sparkling water in a rather short glass compose a Highball. I am lucky to have recently purchased this glass, as it is exactly 8 ounces.
Sadly, this glass size, which I really happen to like, has pretty much been extinct behind every bar in American since Prohibition.
Though, if you look, you will find lots of these glasses on eBay: shortish, straight sided glasses, often with the name of the bar or logo on the side. Usually, the eBay seller mistakenly calls them “water glasses,” but before prohibition, these were highball glasses.
As the first Highball was, in fact, a Scotch Highball, I figured I should at least make a gesture in that direction. However, as usual, I am being difficult. I decided to use Japanese Whisky, Suntory Yamazaki 12.
Quoting from the Suntory Yamazaki Website:
Both Suntory YAMAZAKI 12- and 18- year old single malts are aged in casks of three different kinds of oaks: American, Spanish and Japanese. This gives Suntory Whisky its unique quality. Each drink has a distinct taste. YAMAZAKI Single Malt 12-Year Old Whisky
This is a medium-bodied whisky with the aromas of dried fruits and honey. It has a delicate, mellow taste with a lingering, woody, dry finish.
Interestingly, the Highball, or “Whisky-Soda”, is one of the most popular drinks in Japan, or at least one of the most common ways to drink Whisky. People who have been there tell me that Yamaki 12 is a more expensive whisky than anyone in Japan would typically drink in a Highball, they’d probably drink a cheaper blended Whisky, but it does make a fantastic and rediculously easy drinking Highball.
*I’m pretty sure I was sent this bottle of Yamazaki 12 some time ago by a publicity firm promoting the brand. Life doesn’t suck.
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.