Oh Canada!

Flickr: qousqous

What does one drink while viewing the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics?  Here at the League we thought a Snowshoe seemed àpropos.  I recently learned of this drink through SLOSHED! A frosty, yet warming drink, the Snowshoe combines peppermint schnapps with bourbon for the perfect waiting-out-the-snowstorm-by-the-fire cocktail.  The recipe over at SLOSHED! calls for equal portions bourbon and schnapps, but I prefer it this way.

Snowshoe

  • 2 oz bourbon (I used Buffalo Trace)
  • 1/2 oz peppermint schnapps (I used Rumpleminze, as suggested by the folks at SLOSHED!)

Stir ingredients in an Old Fashioned glass and fill with crushed ice.  Stir again, sip and put your feet up by the fire.

After the Snowshoe, I mixed this up in honor of the 2010 Winter Games. I call it the

Vancouver Swizzle

  • 2 oz Laird’s 7-1/2 year old apple brandy (or use Calvados)
  • 1/2 oz Appleton Estate V/X Jamaica rum
  • 1/2 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
  • 1/2 oz grade B pure Canadian maple syrup
  • 1/2 oz fresh-pressed apple juice or apple cider
  • 1 oz Meyer lemon juice, or regular lemon if not in season
  • 1/4 oz Allspice Dram
  • Dash Fee Bros. Whiskey Barrel bitters
  • Dash Urban Moonshine Maple bitters

Mix ingredients in a highball and fill with crushed ice. Mix with a swizzle stick and settle down to watch some amazing Winter Olympics competition!

Published in: on February 13, 2010 at 12:22 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Omnivore Books Punch Contest

Omnivore Books Punch Contest

The punch contest at Omnivore Books was lots of fun and a nice crowd showed up to taste-test.  There were 10 punch entries and I’m guessing 40-50 people showed up to drink punch.  At $5, it was a pretty good deal!  I decided to represent my home state and county (Monmouth County, NJ) with a Laird’s Applejack based punch.  Laird’s is America’s oldest native distillery and their recipe for Applejack was given to George Washington after he requested it.  They have a great product and history.  I was inspired in part by a classic applejack cocktail called the Applejack Rabbit, so I named my entry, Jersey Rabbit Punch.  I didn’t win, but a number of people told me that it was delicious, including Celia Sack, the owner of Omnivore Books, and the third-place winner told me that he voted for my punch, so hey, I’m holding my head high!

Jersey Rabbit Punch

The winner was a punch called “Mission Gutter Juice”.  The ingredients included Smirnoff Vodka, Fresca diet soda, Country Time Pink Lemonade powder, and Bud Light. They were also the only entrants that planned for a big crowd.  I thought I made a lot of punch, but after everyone else’s punch was gone, they were still mixing up new bowls for the crowd!  I’m guessing they’ve made this before…can you say party?

1st Place - Mission Gutter Juice

Mission Gutter Juice

The second-place winner was Jetsetter Punch.  It was a mixture of brandy, rum, cachaca, cava, green tea, and pineapple-nutmeg syrup.  Third place went to Kagetaka’s Grog, a persimmon vodka-based punch.  It was a fun time and frankly, I wish there were more punch contests in bookstores!

Kagetaka's Grog ingredient list

Jetsetter Punch

I was asked for the recipe for my entry, so here it is…enjoy!

Jersey Rabbit Punch

  • 6 cups Laird’s Applejack (About a 750 ml bottle and a half)
  • 1.5 cups Appleton Special Gold Jamaica Rum
  • 1 quart Odwalla fresh-pressed apple juice
  • 14 oz fresh-squeezed Meyer lemon juice
  • 6 oz Grade B pure maple syrup
  • 6 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • .5 oz Fee Bros. Whiskey Barrel Bitters
  • 1 750 ml bottle of Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider (chilled)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 ice ring with lemon and lime (or apple slices)

Mix first 7 ingredients and chill.  When ready to serve empty into a large punch bowl.  Add the bottle of sparkling apple cider and stir.  Add ice ring to punch and grate nutmeg over the top of punch.

Jersey Rabbit Punch a few minutes before it was all gone!

Published in: on January 30, 2010 at 8:26 pm  Comments (5)  
Tags: , , , ,

Sweet and Lovely

Photo by Esther Kirby, Flickr

A little rough around the edges, but sweet and lovely all the same. Here is a cocktail from David A. Embury’s The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks (1948):

Sweet and Lovely

  • 1 part Maraschino & Grenadine (half and half)
  • 2 parts Lime Juice
  • 3 parts Gin
  • 5 parts Applejack

Shake with cracked ice.

Make sure you use Maraschino liqueur, not the juice from your maraschino cherry jar.  I substituted raspberry syrup for the grenadine which I liked, but either way would work. Just make sure to use real pomegranate grenadine and all will be good.

Published in: on January 24, 2010 at 11:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Feeling Punchy?

Photo from Flickr: Lupo Lupo

Then join me at Omnivore Books on Saturday, January 30 at 4:00pm!  They are having a punch contest (of all the wacky and wonderful things).  Having just acquired my mother-in-law’s “Stars & Pinwheels” punch bowl, I have decided to enter.  This will be a first, as I’ve never entered any sort of food or drink competition before. I don’t know how big it will be, but it sounds like a good time.  Trying different punches while gazing at books for $5?  Yessir!  Plus, you know I love my cookbooks, and I’ve been meaning to check out this place since a friend told me about it. Omnivore Books features “new, antiquarian, and collectible books on food and drink.” Sounds right up my alley.  As for the punch contest, here is their description:

Are you an amateur mixologist just itching to show off your skills? Or a professional bartender with a lazy Saturday afternoon? Make up a bowl of your favorite punch (alcoholic or non), and bring it to our punch contest! Free to punch entrants; drinkers-only pay $5 at the door, then judge their favorite punch, and the winner splits the door money with us. It’s a win-win here, folks, so come on by and wow us with your mixing skills. Or you drinking aptitude.

My only problem now is what punch to make?  I’m split between making a version of a rum Ti Punch (kind of like the Rhum Agricole Punch in my last post), or representing my home state and county with an Applejack (aka Jersey Lightning) punch.  If you’d like to weigh in one way or the other, please post a comment with your vote!

Published in: on January 14, 2010 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Hot Toddy Day

Old Barney Toddy

Who knew? Apparently, January 11 is National Hot Toddy Day!  I turned to The Gentlemen’s Companion by Charles H. Baker, Jr. for inspiration.  In the section on hot drinks, he writes of a “hot helper” based on Applejack called The Jersey Lighthouse.

We met the Jersey Lighthouse sitting in the back room of a small New Jersey inn one horrid winter night, with William Faulkner, Tony Sarg’s puppet maker Bil Baird, and Eric Devine, our sailing mate on the MARMION. … Into a tumbler place 2 lumps of sugar, a dash or 2 of Angostura, 3 or 4 cloves, a spiral of lemon peel.  Onto this pour 2 jiggers of ancient applejack, fill with boiling water, float on 1 tbsp applejack at the last and serve blazing merrily.   Those who read Bill Faulkner’s Light in August renamed the drink Light in February.

I fiddled around with it a bit and came up with an Applejack toddy I’m calling The Old Barney Toddy.  Growing up near the Jersey shore, the lighthouse that I was most familiar with was the Barnegat Lighthouse, otherwise known as “Old Barney”.

Old Barney Toddy

  • 2 oz. Laird’s Applejack
  • 3/4 oz. spiced simple syrup (or to taste, I like it a little on the sweet side)
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 dash Fee Bros. Whiskey Barrel Bitters
  • 1 tbs Applejack to float

Mix first 4 ingredients in a mug and fill with boiling water. Float 1 tbs Applejack on top and set ablaze.  Garnish with clove studded lemon peel.  A perfect drink for a frosty San Francisco winter night. Well, chilly at least.

Old Barney (Flickr: thisisbossi)

Published in: on January 11, 2010 at 9:47 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,