The Rapunsil

March 28th, 2005

rapunsil

1/2 oz. Galliano
1/2 oz. creme de cacao (white)
3/4 oz. pineapple juice
3/4 oz. heavy cream

Shake with crushed ice.

I’ve laid in a supply of pineapple juice — not something normally stocked — since not having it on hand means that there are drinks that cannot be made! Not being a great fan of Piña Coladas, the question is whether there are any drinks calling for pineapple juice which should be made. As yet, I don’t know that I’ve discovered anything I couldn’t live without, but the Rapunsil Cocktail is the best justification so far. It seems an unlikely combination of ingredients, but it works. The Galliano isn’t particularly detectable — creme de cacao predominates — but there’s a lovely pineapple cream base beneath it all.

The Rapunsil is a short drink — 2 1/2 oz. — and not particularly strong. Some balmy spring weekend I’d like to explore downplaying the creme de cacao a bit, fortifying it slightly and increasing its volume, all the while retaining the same degree of pineapple-creaminess. Even unmodified, though, the Rapunsil has the makings of an interesting brunchy beverage. It’s tasty, if not exactly refreshing … a novelty worth keeping in mind.

The Millionaire Cocktail (#2)

March 28th, 2005

1 oz. Plymouth gin
1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
1 tsp. grenadine
1 tsp. pineapple juice
1 egg white

Shake with cracked ice and strain into double cocktail glass.

Not a winner. Rosy red and buoyed a bit by the egg white, it fails overall. It’s bland, sweet and uninspiring. Don’t waste your Plymouth on this one.

Recipe from Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide, © 1947. p. 155

Falkland Island Warmer

March 27th, 2005

Falkland Island Warmer

1 1/2 oz. Drambuie
juice of 1/2 lemon
4 oz. hot water

Strain the lemon juice to remove pulp, add Drambuie and fill with hot water to desired dilution.

Another incredibly simple one, but just the thing for a damp and chilly day. The above is a combination of CocktailDB’s entries for the Hot Drambuie Toddy and Falkland Island Warmer. Oddly enough, Google has little to say in English on the subject — the drink appears on German and Japanese sites in the main. The two are combined here because, as one will see from the respective recipes, the differences are merely of quantity (more Drambuie and lemon in the toddy). Proportions be damned, I co-opt the name Falkland Island Warmer because it’s just more prosaic than the pedestrian Hot Drambuie Toddy. Drambuie itself is a honeyed whiskey, and as such unless the lemon is particularly sour, the additional sweetening (called for in the FIW) is overkill.

Update (09/10/05): Further research reveals “Falkland Island Warmer” to be Victor Bergeron’s name for the concoction, though he doesn’t lay claim to devising the drink itself. From Trader Vic’s Book of Food & Drink (1946):

A very charming and prim little old lady gave me the recipe for this drink many years ago. She called me over to her table, where she and a party of elderly women were having dinner, and told me about a drink the natives in the Falkland Islands used to make when they were cold and tired and in need of a stimulant. As she had a particularly un-romantic name, I named the drink the Falkland Island Warmer.

Caipirinha

March 19th, 2005

caipirinha

3 oz. cachaça
1/2 lime (large)
1 Tbsp. sugar

Cut lime into quarters
Place in bottom of 6 – 8 oz. glass with sugar and muddle well.
Fill with crushed ice, followed by cachaça. Stir.

Cachaça is very much its own beverage — distilled from fermented fresh sugar cane juice, it’s related to rum, but often called a brandy. There is a wide range of qualities — in Brazil, cachaça has historically been a proletarian drink, but a premium market is the rise. Perhaps the most commonly available brand in the US is Pirassununga Cachaça 51, a middle-of-the-road industrially produced cachaça. I wouldn’t care to drink it neat, but it has a peppery, tequila-like quality that makes Brazil’s gift to cocktails, the caipirinha, more like a margarita than its rummy relative, the daiquiri.

Caipirinhas are quite the trendy tipple these days, and they’re fast becoming a favorite of mine as well. Citric, icy-cold and spicy-sweet, they’re not particularly suited to drizzly 50°F March evenings, but I’ll be laying in a respectable supply of cachaça and limes come summertime. There’s a fairly broad variation in recipes … most call for a whole lime, which I find excessive if you’re using large, lemon-sized fruit. The volumes of sugar, cachaça and ice vary as well. The inference one should draw from this is that cachaça is delicious when served on the rocks with lime and sugar.

Negroni

March 14th, 2005

1 oz. London dry gin
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. sweet vermouth

stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
garnish with orange twist (burnt or otherwise)

The Negroni is a beautiful translucent ruby, walking a fine line between extravagance and elegance. Campari and vermouth counterbalance one another perfectly, with the gin largely serving to add volume and proof while reducing the viscosity a bit. The Campari sounds the dominant note, and I like it just fine. According to cocktailtimes.com (and others — it’s a popular legend), we have Count Camillo Negroni of Florence to thank for this happy update to the Americano. One should apparently garnish the Negroni with a bit of “burnt orange” — this involves holding a lit match over the glass while expressing the oil from a twist of peel. Might be worth attempting, though the folks at Campari don’t mention it in their recipe for the Negroni. Then again, they would have one serve it in an old fashioned glass on the rocks, which seems an injustice considering how splendidly the Negroni displays up on a stem.

Do use London Dry — Plymouth or Hendrick’s would be a waste — since Campari and sweet vermouth overwhelm a delicate gin’s subtleties. You could probably even substitute vodka without noticing too much, but I can’t possibly advocate it. Leave the Negroni alone unless there’s no gin in the house, and then please don’t mention the transgression to others, lest it become practice.

If you haven’t a bottle of Campari to hand, acquire one and stir up a Negroni. It’s simplicity itself to produce, deliciously bitter-sweet, deceptively drinkable, and, at 56°, will see you into a happy place more rapidly than you might have thought. Suitable for any respectable hour and as an anodyne to any weather but the most inclement.