Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cocktail Wednesday: Tennessee


This week's choice was another rye drink, Tennessee, this one featuring maraschino.


1 1⁄2 oz Rye
1⁄2 oz Maraschino Liqueur
1⁄2 oz Lemon juice
1 Maraschino cherry (as garnish)

Shake over ice, strain into a cocktail glass, garnish with a maraschino cherry.

The verdict: Some people apparently make it at a 1:1:1 ratio, but I think it was well-balanced with this amount, and the lemon wasn't enough to bother Scott's acid reflux. On the other hand, he felt that the rye wasn't a good match for the maraschino and lemon.  We are interested in trying this again with a different rye, to see whether it was this rye in particular or rye in general.  The rye we chose is unusual, as it i 100% rye, rather than simply majority rye grains used to make the whiskey.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cocktail Wednesdays: Armistice


We went to Frankenmouth this weekend for an event and while we were there, we picked up a bottle of Old George Double Barrel rye whiskey from the Grand Traverse Distillery tasting room.  The distillery itself is up at the top of Michigan's lower peninsula in Traverse City,but I suppose that they decided that since Frankenmouth is a touristy little fake-Bavarian town, they should have a presence there, and from our perspective, they were not wrong.  And unlike the cookoo clocks Scott was eyeing the whiskey was in our price range, though not as accessible as the fudge or cheese, and not really priced to be an every-day whiskey.  So we chose to feature rye in our cocktail this week, Armistice.

1 1⁄2 oz    Rye Whiskey
1⁄2 oz       Dry Vermouth
1⁄4 oz       Green Chartreuse
1⁄4 oz       Maraschino Liqueur
2 ds          Bitters, Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged

Stir over ice, strain into cocktail glass.

Although we don't have Fee Bros. Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters, we felt that the regular Fee Bros. old-fashioned bitters was a decent substitute.

The verdict: We liked this one.  Unlike many other drinks with Chartreuse or maraschino, they don't hog center stage, because the rye also holds its own.  There is spice from the rye, herbs from the chartreuse and sweetness from the maraschino.  The smell reminds me of certain tisanes, with  light herbal, almost floral note, but the flavor is stronger.

Cocktail Wednesdays: Tom and Jerry

Tom and Jerry

It's been a long time since I posted, and I apologize for that. It has also been a while since we last had a drink night, thanks to both of us working extra hard, etc. During that time, the photos of the last drink we tried this winter have been lurking on the memory card of my camera, and the recipe I used has been sitting open.

I had read several sources on the Tom and Jerry, which is in many ways the father of today's common eggnog. Tom and Jerry are the principal characters of Pierce Egan's 1821 "Life in London...", an account of the rakish adventures of several English gentlemen from high society to the sort of situations that Robert Downey Junior's Sherlock Holmes uses to try to put Watson's fiancĂ©e off in the recent movie versions - boxing, gambling, etc.  This book was so popular that it inspired more than sixty-five imitations by the next year, as well as plays and fashion trends.  By 1823, Tom and Jerry's popularity had spread to New York. By 1831, the phenomenon was so well-known that there were references to Tom and Jerry Shops rather than beer shops.  In the years following, as we do here in the land of the cocktail, we invented a drink by that name. Over the course of the next hundred years, it became so popular that it was nearly ubiquitous. Journalist Damon Runyon wrote, “This hot Tom and Jerry is an old time drink that is once used by one and all in this country to celebrate Christmas with, and in fact it is once so popular that many people think Christmas is invented only to furnish an excuse for hot Tom and Jerry…” Sets of punch bowls and mugs stamped with "Tom and Jerry" were common, until the drink fell out of favor in the last fifty years.

Assembling the drinks on an individual basis will assure that each drink is properly warm. The punch bowl can be used to hold the batter, just be sure to stir the mix up prior to each drink, as it will separate, and thoroughly stir the drink as you add spirits and water or milk.

Tom and Jerry
In a 6 oz Tom and Jerry mug, add:
3 oz Batter
1/2 oz Cognac
1/2 oz Rum
Boiling Water or Hot Milk to top

Add batter to a heated mug
Add spirits, stirring, then boiling water or milk, stirring
Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg

For Batter
Separate 4 eggs into white and yolks
Whip the egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar until stiff
Beat egg yolks until thin

Fold in 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar into egg yolks
Add a pinch of allspice, cinnamon, and cloves as desired
Fold in egg whites
Mix until light and frothy
Stir batter before each use

Makes enough for 8+ drinks

The verdict: This was a great hot winter drink with eggnog family flavors, but a light and fluffy feel.  I was surprised, but these cappuccino mugs were just the right size, and looked so festive too.