Friday, November 11, 2011
Cocktail Wednesdays: Bengal
The drink I selected this week was the Bengal cocktail. According to my source, it was from the 1937 U.K. Bartender's Guild manual. After making it, I found another source from 1897 with essentially the same recipe; however, one recipe I found was totally different, and other recipes used pineapple juice rather than pineapple syrup.
2 oz Brandy
1 oz Pineapple syrup
1⁄2 oz Orange Liqueur
1⁄2 oz Maraschino Liqueur
6 ds Angostura bitters
1 Lemon peel (garnish)
Shake over ice, strain, and serve garnished with a lemon peel
(We had no lemons on hand, so no garnish)
The verdict: This is another one we like a lot. I felt that it was very Maraschino-forward, with the next most dominant taste being the bitters. I felt that I could barely taste the pineapple on the back of my tongue, but Scott didn't think he could taste it at all. On the other hand, he thought it tasted lemony. Some recipes called for less bitters, which makes me wonder if we could taste the pineapple better in that case. It was rater sweet, but not cloying, because the sweetness came from several different elements. Still, with the pineapple syrup, orange liqueur, and Maraschino all adding some degree of sweetness, it was too much.
I should mention that I made my own pineapple syrup. I used half of a pineapple to make pork and pineapple satay, and with the other half, I made a half-batch of the following:
1 ripe pineapple, peeled and cut into chunks
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
To make pineapple syrup, cut up one whole, ripe pineapple into chunks and place into a large glass bowl. Add 1 cup of white sugar, stir to coat, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, make a 2:1 simple syrup with 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water and set aside. In a blender, add the pineapple and all the liquid that has formed in the bottom of the bowl. Pulse to combine and to break down the pineapple. Add the warm simple syrup to the blender, blend briefly to combine, and pour into a clean bottle through a strainer lined with cheesecloth, pressing on the solids to extract all the liquid. Preserve with a few ounces of vodka or white rum, and store in the refrigerator.
Makes about 1 liter of pineapple syrup