The word “Scofflaw” has come to mean “A person who flouts the law, especially an unsustainable one.” But such was not always the case. It was in 1923, when Delcevare King, a member of the Anti-Saloon League, posed a contest to create a new word in order to combat the continued drinking which was going on during American Prohibition. The new word was to be one “which best expresses the idea of a lawless drinker, menace, scoffer, bad citizen, or whatnot, with the biting power of ‘scab’ or ‘slacker.'” The $200 prize elicited a huge response. On January 16th, 1924, the Boston Herald announced the winning word as “scofflaw”, with the winnings shared by the two Boston area residents, Henry Irving Dale and Kate L. Butler, who both submitted it. This was not the end of the story however, in just a little over a week, a salvo was launched from Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, where they created a new drink and christened it the “Scofflaw”.
I have three recipes. One is from Ted Haigh by way of Imbibe Magazine.
2 c. fresh pomegranate juice or POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate
2 c. unbleached sugar
2 oz. pomegranate molasses
1 tsp. orange blossom water
Heat juice slightly, just enough to allow other ingredients to dissolve easily. Stir in remaining ingredients, allow to cool, and bottle. Yields two cups.
But I’m missing a couple of ingredients.
Luckily, around the time I was looking for pomegranate molasses, I saw Alton Brown’s Good Eats episode on the pomegranate, and he covered the topic.
2 c. pomegranate juice
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 TBsp. lemon juice
Dissolve sugar in pomegranate juice and lemon juice over medium heat. Once the sugar dissolves, simmer over medium-low heat until reduced by 3/4, or the consistency of a thick syrup. Remove from heat and cool. Yields four to six ounces.
I called a number of ethnic groceries in Dutchess County searching for orange blossom water, with no luck. Another recipe online used vanilla, so I substituted that. Thus we end up with
2 c. pomegranate juice
2 c. sugar
2 oz. pomegranate molasses
1 tsp. vanilla
Dissolve the sugar in the pomegranate juice over low heat. Add molasses and vanilla; stir to combine. DO NOT BOIL. Remove from heat and bottle. Yields two cups.
Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. That’s not quite exact. Limits are.
When one is out of one’s preferred spirits, has no citrus stocked, and is looking around for a cocktail to mix, one turns to what one has to hand. In this case, what recipes are there for tequila and vermouth?
The hot days of Summer call for a cool drink, shade, and a lazy breeze through the apple trees. If my taste memory serves, this is Grandmother’s Lemonade.
3/4 c. sugar
1 c. lemon juice
2 qt. minus 1 c. water
Cover the bottom of a half-gallon glass Tropicana Orange Juice bottle with sugar. Squeeze lemons until the sugar is covered and begins to melt. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add water and ice to fill the remainder, about two quarts.
For those interested in the recipe for the gallon of Margaritas which was consumed at my party yesterday, I used Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s recipe from A Gallon of Margaritas by the Gallon. Below are the details on which tequila and triple sec were involved in this concoction.
The Mint Julep is rumored to have led to as many arguments over the nature of the drink as the Martini, if not more since it’s a Southern invention and we’re pugnacious folk. Also like the Martini, some recipes abandon the pretense that there’s more than spirit in the drink, most notably the following byHenry Watterson.
Pluck the mint gently from its bed, just as the dew of the evening is about to form upon it. Select the choicer sprigs only, but do not rinse them. Prepare the simple syrup and measure out a half-tumbler of whiskey. Pour the whiskey into a well-frosted silver cup, throw the other ingredients away and drink the whiskey.
Mr. Watterson’s recipe is humorous, much like the humor in glancing at the vermouth while pouring the gin, but the ceremony obvious in the first part of the recipe is typical.
Eric Felten tells an amusing account of Roosevelt v. Newett which serves to highlight that a julep is more than just the Mint Julep. It’s a whole class of drinks. Whereas a cocktail in simple form is any spirit, sugar, water, and bitters, the julep is any spirit, sugar, crushed or shaved ice, and lots of garnish. And sometimes without the spirit: It started in Persia as rose water, جلاب, then slowly evolved into a medicinal concoction in Europe, and on to something worth drinking in America. The recipes compiled at Webtender offer a nice sample of juleps, as does CocktailDB. What distinguishes a julep from a smash? Quantity. Details are to be found in Jerry Thomas’s How to Mix Drinks, David Wondrich’s Imbibe!, and a couple of tomes dedicated entirely to the Mint Julep.
You’ll want to watch Chris McMillian hold forth.
1 tsp. fine sugar
splash of water
2 oz. fine bourbon. All right, maybe 4 oz. It’s a hot day. Adjust the size of your glass as necessary.
Build, with the care you used in holding your first child.
Gently, ever so gently, pluck 12 or so leaves from freshly cut sprigs of mint, and place in the bottom of your glass. Add one bar spoon of fine sugar and a splash of water. Press together gently — you’re not making a mojito — enough to dissolve the sugar in the water and distribute the mint oils around the glass.
Crush some ice. No, that’s not enough. Crush some more. Now crush it again. The bourbon will be cradled in this finely crushed ice.
Place a spoon in your glass, then pile the ice on top of the mint and sugar, leaving about a half inch free. Pour the bourbon over the ice and stir gently. A frost will form on the outside of the glass. Remove the spoon and add more ice. Slap a sprig of mint between your hands and add to the glass as garnish.
Enjoy. “They are, in fact, like the American ladies, irresistible.”
First you should know that I am not from Bermuda. And while I once visited on a cruise, I drank only beer while I was there, so have no first-hand confirmation that the Dark and Stormy is, in fact, Bermuda‘s national drink.
Until Firefox gets the hang of tracking paths through the browser history, I can’t quite say exactly who started this idea in motion, but I can say what did: an article on using one’s discarded Christmas tree in various dishes, which crossed my transom around about the same time as Imbibe Magazine‘s 2010 Christmas card, which features a cocktail called Walk in the Woods containing Zirbenz, a Swiss liqueur made from the fruit of the Arolla Stone Pine. I doubted that anyone else in the house would like to have their lunch garnished with fir, so why not use it to make a drink?
After removing the Douglas Fir from the house, I dismembered it to simplify handling, then moved it to the garage. It was a fairly warm day, as far as the days this January went, but I’d rather not work in a foot or more of snow. There it sat until this past Monday. I then removed some of the more fragrant needles from the branches and washed them. Yesterday I put a handful or so in a 16 oz. Mason jar. This covered the bottom of the jar to about a 2 inch depth. I then added Tito’s Handmade Vodka up to the 12 oz. mark, put the top on, and let it sit for 24 hours. The result was strained through cheese cloth into an empty Tuthilltown whiskey bottle.
Some experimentation might be needed to determine the optimal infusion time: the result is bitter. And it smells just like the tree. It’s too bitter to drink straight, so what’s to be done? A cocktail!
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until cold, then strain into your favorite glass. Serve straight up, without garnish.
I was experimenting as I built this, so the first version was built in an old-fashioned glass, and only shaken to chill. Dissolve the sugar in the vodka infusion, then add rum and lime. Add ice to your shaker, then the liquids, and shake until cold. You might want to sweeten to taste.
(This one is much better than my first attempt at making a cocktail from scratch, so some folks should prepare to be drinking it.)
To make Irish Usquebaugh; from Lord Capell‘s Receipt, when he was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
To every Gallon of French-Brandy, put one Ounce of Liquorice sliced, one Ounce of sweet Fennel-Seeds, one Ounce of Anniseeds, one Pound of Raisins of the Sun split and stoned, a quarter of a Pound of Figs split, two Drachms of Coriander-Seeds, let these infuse about eight or nine Days, and pour the Liquor clear off, then add half an Ounce of Saffron, in a Bag, for a Day or two, and when that is out, put in a Drachm of Musk. If when this Composition is made, it seems to be too high a Cordial for the Stomach, put to it more Brandy, till you reduce it to the Temper you like. This is the same Receipt King William had when he was in Ireland.
You may notice that this concoction bears no relationship to a fine glass of Tullamore Dew other than that both contain alcohol. It’s a cordial, a medicinal water, the cure for what ails you.
(It might be a bit too absurd for some to drink a recipe mentioning King William III on Lá Fhéile Pádraig, given historical tensions. But one hopes that historical tensions can be put to rest in enjoyment of a fine beverage, regardless of its provenance.)
So, what shall we have? Shall it be the recipe from Harry’s New York Bar in Paris? The one given by Ernest Hemingway? Some fancy concoction from the Employees Only cookbook? Or a variation using their common base: vodka, tomato, and citrus?
In shaker or directly in large tumbler: ice, 6 dashes of Worcestershire Sauce, 3 dashes of Tabasco, pinch of salt, pinch of pepper, juice of ½ lemon, 2 ounces of vodka, fill remainder of glass with top-quality tomato juice, and above all no celery salt. — Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails
To make a pitcher of Bloody Marys (any smaller amount is worthless) take a good sized pitcher and put in it as big a lump of ice as it will hold. (This is to prevent too rapid melting and watering of our product.) Mix a pint of good russian vodka and an equal amount of chilled tomato juice. Add a table spoon full of Worcester Sauce. Lea and Perrins is usual but can use A1 or any good beef-steak sauce. Stirr. (with two rs) Then add a jigger of fresh squeezed lime juice. Stirr. Then add small amounts of celery salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper. Keep on stirring and taste it to see how it is doing. If you get it too powerful weaken with more tomato juice. If it lacks authority add more vodka. Some people like more lime than others. For combatting a really terrific hangover increase the amount of Worcester sauce – but don’t lose the lovely color. Keep drinking it yourself to see how it is doing. I introduced this drink to Hong Kong in 1941 and believe it did more than any other single factor except perhaps the Japanese Army to precipitate the fall of that Crown Colony. After you get the hang of it you can mix it so it will taste as though it had absolutely no alcohol of any kind in it and a glass of it will still have as much kick as a really good big martini. Whole trick is to keep it very cold and not let the ice water it down. — Ernest Hemingway – Selected Letters, 1917-1961, from a letter to Bernard Peyton, April 5, 1947
Bloddy [sic] Mary
The name is intentionally misspelled because I seem to be unable to type two O’s in a row. In the jargon of my trade, it’s a Blod^Hody Mary.
Last night I dreamt that my grandfather on my mother’s side was about to reveal his secret recipe for a Bloody Mary, and then I woke. It would be a secret because, as far as I know, he did not drink. The recipe that follows is closer to Hemingway’s than to his.
Chill a pitcher, then fill halfway full with ice. Cut two whole tomatoes into large pieces, then puree. This should make approximately a pint of tomato juice. Add to the pitcher. Add one pint of vodka. Stir. Add 1 3/4 oz. lemon juice. Stir. Add 1 tablespoon of Worchestershire sauce. Stir. Add 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper. Stir. Add 1/2 tsp. salt. Stir. Grind fresh pepper over the pitcher, about five turns of the grinder. Stir. Wait for your guests.
Serve in a rocks glass, or a highball if you have it. Garnish with fresh pepper and a lemon wedge.
We typically host Christmas Day dinner at our house, after my brother-in-law and his wife host the Feast of the Seven Fishes at his. Christmas Day is a more subdued affair, with fewer guests, and more flexibility in the menu. This year we had turkey, and this year I thought I’d serve a punch.
The spirits in the recipe are the fine products of Philadelphia Distilling: Bluecoat Gin and Vieux Carré Absinthe Supérieure. Unfortunately, none of the shops around sells Vieux Carré, and the absinthe varieties they do have seem to insist on using artificial food colorings. I should have decided earlier; I could have ordered by mail. Fortunately, a nearby shop does sell Bluecoat Gin.
As a result of the lack of absinthe I substituted Romana Sambuca. The punch lost, I’m sure, some complexity, but I wouldn’t know: I’ve not had absinthe. I also left out the cranberry bitters.
I’ve reduced this to serve the eight adults at our Christmas dinner, and still had a quart left over. This recipe can be prepared in the punch bowl or in a mixing bowl beforehand. I used a mixing bowl. I did find that the cranberry in the punch is quite strong, and mellows substantially if it rests overnight.
375 ml Bluecoat Gin
4 oz Romana Sambuca
4 oz lemon juice
8 oz cranberry juice
20 oz apple cider
6 toasted cardamom pods
2 toasted star anise
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
16 oz. sparkling water
5 dashes Fee Brothers Cranberry bitters
5 dashes Angostura bitters
6 oz. cranberries
Freeze a thin layer of water and cranberries in a bundt pan, filling about a quarter of the pan.
Toast the cardamom pods and star anise over a medium flame. While waiting for them to toast, squeeze the lemons. In a larger mixing bowl, mix the confectioner’s sugar with the lemon juice until dissolved. Add the gin and sambuca, mix until thoroughly combined with the lemon juice and sugar, then add the remaining ingredients, save the sparkling water and the garnish. Stir well.
At this point you may wish to sample the punch to see if needs adjustment. Bear in mind that the punch will be diluted later by sparkling water and ice. I increased the apple cider ration from 16 oz. to 20 oz. to cut the bitterness of the cranberries.
Combine with sparkling water over ice in a punch bowl. Garnish with cranberries, orange wheels, and mint.
Mr. Boston’s Official Bartender’s and Party Guide (64th Edition) (Warner Books, 1994) has this to say on the subject of egg nog.
Eggnog can be made from scratch, but since those recipes use raw eggs, which may carry the risk of salmonella poisoning, only recipes using commercially prepared eggnog are included here.
And so they have a whole section containing recipes which basically consist of “add [spirit] to any old egg nog you find in the store.” The current edition is somewhat better.
I like egg nog, but I find the commercial preparations to be far too thick and sweet for my taste these days. Besides there’s no fun in buying a quart of something and tossing some rum in it. This year, I’ll make my own.
Combine the half and half, brandy, rum, and nutmeg in a measuring glass. Beat the egg in a blender for one minute. Let the blender continue to run, and slowly add sugar. Wait a minute. Add the contents of the measuring glass and blend until combined. Set in the refrigerator to chill and to let the flavors combine. Serve in a coupe, a punch cup, or a old fashioned glass as suits the occasion. Garnish with grated nutmeg. The glass will determine, to an extent, the serving size.
[L]iquor consumption and drug use peaked when real incomes were falling rapidly, prices were surging and unemployment was increasing. A comparable surge in drinking (to the highest recorded levels in American history) occurred in similar circumstances during the climactic years of the eighteenth century price revolution. A long decline in alcohol consumption coincided with the Victorian equilibrium.
Expenditures and consumption are not the same things, since price per unit of alcohol varies. Strangely, expenditures are falling, and have been. Consumption in the United States was decreasing from 1983 to 2000, but since 2001 is back on the increase. Since I’ve not noticed the prices dropping, purchasers are likely shifting consumption to cheaper products without reducing overall consumption. This could be either a switch from Dogfish Head to Budweiser, which I doubt, or from beer to distilled liquor, and, thus, cocktails.
The Martini that most folks know, if they order a Martini in a bar, is between six and nine ounces of chilled vodka or gin, perhaps with the glass washed with vermouth. (Great! Three drinks for the price of one!) And depending on the vermouth being used this is perhaps a reasonable caution. However, it’s not a classic Martini: it’s a glass of [insert spirit here].
A lot of mixing drinks is taste, often opinionated taste. This is fine. One can even be snooty about it if one wants. I’ve found that each of the Martini variations I’ve tried has its own taste, some better than others, and its own rewards, such that the proportion I mix tends toward my preference of the moment. Tonight, to go with the Italian Wedding Soup my wife made, I stirred up a Sweet Martini, using Tanqueray London Dry Gin, Martini & Rossi Rosso, and Angostura Bitters.
1 1/2 oz gin
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
1 dash Angostura bitters
Stir in a mixing glass and strain in to a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
The proportion here is 2:1 gin to vermouth. This is slightly less gin than called for in the CocktailDB recipe, but if one uses their scaling tool to adjust from a 4.5 oz. glass to a 4 oz. glass, one arrives at this ratio. I have a 4 oz. glass, but wasn’t considering that; I just like the taste at 2:1. Robert Hess, in the video below, uses 3:1. That’s also fine, if one prefers.
Last time I checked James Bond was an imaginary character. And I’m guessing that you probably stopped listening to imaginary characters in childhood. — Robert Hess
Legal Sea Foods’ Deadrise looks like this, and contains Belvedere vodka, cucumber, lime, and grapefruit bitters. They were quite willing to make a sample, which was tasty, but I asked that they substitute Hendrick’s Gin for the vodka.
Hmm, I thought, this is definitely a drink I want to make at home. But what’s the recipe? I suppose one could experiment, but not I. No, experimentation is for those without elite research skills. Someone, somewhere, had published this recipe, and I would find it.
About the cranberry juice, I did not use Ocean Spray cranberry juice cocktail. It’s sweetened, and I’m not much for the sweeteners. One might use instead the juice from those fresh cranberries just bought to make cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. I used a store-bought 100% cranberry juice: Nature’s Promise Cranberry juice from Stop & Shop.