Archive for December, 2006

Espresso Eggnog

Posted: December 26, 2006 in Cocktails, Coffee

For this installment, I will tackle a holiday drink: eggnog – with coffee, of course!

Now, I’ve tried to resist the temptation of this rather festive drink, as I’m not too fond of its heaviness with all that cream. And with so many versions of eggnog out there, it’s hard to try them all without getting sick from the intake of cream and, for that matter, raw eggs.

But eggnog is a holiday tradition that goes too far back to ignore. Of course, mixology wouldn’t be complete without a little trip down memory lane, so… let’s take a look at the history of eggnog and how it came about.

The History

Eggnog had its start in the Middle Ages as an English drink known as a “posset,” a hot beverage of sweetened, spiced milk curdled with ale or wine. A variation on the posset, the “caudle,” was a similar concoction of warm spiced ale or wine, sweetened and thickened with bread, grain, or eggs. These drinks were not only enjoyed during the holiday season but were thought to be helpful in curing colds and fortifying one’s health. It is for this reason, perhaps, that some historians suggest that the word “coddle” (to comfort or pamper) is derived from “caudle.”

By the late 1700s, the earliest versions of eggnog as we know it were being created. It was a drink of the upper class; after all, eggs, milk, and even brandy weren’t readily available to the average Londoner at the time, and there was no refrigeration. In colonial America, however, eggnog became very popular, as dairy was plentiful, and so was rum. Rum came in from the Caribbean, and it was far more affordable than brandy, which had a heavy tax on it.

George Washington, the legendary first president of the US, is said to have been quite proud of his personal recipe for a powerful “dry sack posset.” The recipe called for a combination of eggs, milk, cream, sugar, brandy, rye whiskey, rum, and sherry. It was then set aside in a cool place for a few days, during which the recipe directs to “taste frequently.” Fortunately, it seems the alcohol had the effect of delaying the spoilage of the other ingredients.

Before long, Washington’s potent recipe became part of US military tradition. During the Christmas season of 1826, a group of young cadets at the US Military Academy at West Point dared to sneak the ingredients for a spiked eggnog into the Academy, in the name of holiday celebration. At first, they were successful in avoiding detection, but rumors of their plan had reached the ears of the superintendent, and officers were sent to check on the cadets. What followed is the not-so-famous “Eggnog Riot.” Jefferson Davis, the future president of the Confederate States of America, was among the instigators. At the end of it all, six cadets resigned, nineteen cadets were court martialed, and one was charged with attempted murder.

It wasn’t until the Victorian era that this drink finally gained popularity on both sides of the Atlantic. Toasting the health of one’s friends and family with a cup of eggnog became an essential part of holiday socializing in both England and America. By this time, it was being served as a cold drink, prepared in large quantities in anticipation of holiday callers.

As for how eggnog ultimately came by its name… that is a subject for debate. According to some sources, “nog” is a shortened form of the word “noggin,” which was an ancient name for a small wooden cup – hence, “eggs in a small cup.” Another source claims that “nog” is derived from an Old English word in the East Anglian dialect meaning “strong beer or ale.” Yet another source suggests that “eggnog” is a slurred abbreviation of “egg-n-grog,” “grog” being a colonial American word for rum. In England, it is also called “egg flip.”

The Drink

Whatever you may call it, the basic recipe for eggnog is generally the same – eggs beaten with sugar, milk or cream, and a spirit. However, there are many variations of the recipe found around the world.

In Puerto Rico, the drink is called coquito, and the recipe calls for rum combined with fresh coconut juice or coconut milk. Mexico’s version is called rompope. Reputed to have been invented in the convent of Santa Clara, it is heavily dosed with Mexican cinnamon and rum and is sipped like a liqueur. In Peru, biblia con pisco is made with a Peruvian pomace brandy called pisco.

Meanwhile, in Germany, they serve biersuppe, a drink made with ale with the consistency of soup, and eierlikoer, which combines egg yolks with brandy, cognac, and/or grain alcohol.

Naturally, there are also versions that include coffee, which is why we’re talking about eggnog in the first place! I have heard of eggnog lattes, but I’m not convinced with the beverage; and buying pre-packaged eggnog, although it is convenient, takes the fun out of it all. So here’s a recipe that combines the best of both worlds, espresso and a homemade eggnog.

Classic Eggnog with a Twist – The Recipe

Glass: Wine glasses will do nicely for this drink. We’re using a Riedel Chardonnay glass in this how to.

The ingredients:
2 large eggs
3oz Demerrera sugar
1/4 teaspoon of fresh grated nutmeg
2oz brandy
1oz spiced rum
8oz whole milk
2oz of cream
2oz of espresso
Cinnamon sticks for garnish.
Ice (optional)

Step by Step

In this step by step method, we’re skipping what is probably the most important step – chilling the mixture before serving – truth is, we couldn’t wait! So we crushed up ice (smaller ice will chill a beverage faster because there’s more surface area on the ice). But I highly recommend sticking the mixture once done in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 hours before serving.
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All the ingredients
Here’s all you need to make this drink – eggs, espresso, ground nutmeg, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cream, milk, blender, spiced rum, brandy or calvados, and wine glasses.
Eggs in the blender
First, add both eggs to the blender, and blend for two full minutes to really aerate and emulsify the eggs.
Continue Blending
At the 2 minute mark, add your sugar and keep blending for another minute. You can use this time to pull your double espresso shot.

Mixing other ingredients
Pour your 2oz cream into your 8oz of whole milk, away from the blender. We’re going to reduce the “shock” on the espresso.
Adding Espresso
Add espresso to your cream / milk mixture.
Adding Nutmeg
Add the nutmeg last, then stir the mixture vigorously for few seconds.

Adding to Blender
Add the mixture to the blender, making sure all the nutmeg gets out of the pouring pitcher.
Adding the Booze
Next, add 1 ounce of the spiced rum, and 2 ounces of the brandy to the blending pitcher.
Blend and serve!
Blend the mixture for at least another minute, then place in the fridge for 3 hours. If you’re in a rush like we were, you can crush ice first, and pour straight from the blender into your wine glasses. Enjoy!

Seeing as this is the holiday season, enjoy, drink responsibly, and always have a designated driver.

The Martini

Posted: December 24, 2006 in Cocktails

The Classic Gin Martini

You need:

Dry Vermouth
60mls Gin

Pour a tiny bit of dry vermouth into a chilled martini glass and swirl to coat the inside of the glass,then discard the vermouth if your after a real dry martini. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, gently stir the gin then strain into glass

Garnish:

Olives are my preferance but its quite nice with a twist of lemon,lime twists are too hard to make as the skin is to thin to make a twist out of and you end up with a mess,for a Gibson add a cocktail onion

Aspiring Bartenders

Posted: December 24, 2006 in Cocktails

its been a while now since ive been behind a bar making drinks and i do miss it quite a bit,although one thing i dont miss is the odd hours i used to work and being sleep deprived,but i do miss being able to make up a beautiful drink with seasonal produce for a new menu or a beverage to accompany a meal.
what really got me thinking about cocktails again was what i experienced last night at a bar in vancouver,so my night started out harmlessly enough when my girlfriend kylie and our friend olivia perched ourselves at the bar oggling the cocktail list and at that stage im in shock with the list,and our ever so helpful bartender took my list off my hands and said “dont worry about the list i will make you a drink thatll blow your mind……”and he smiles at usand takes our order.ill have something sweet…(olivia)ill have something fruity….(kylie)and ill have a very dry martini stirred with gin,so my drink was made first ,shaker full of ice…so far so good,bombay sapphire ok so far,but there was no glass ready being chilled with a wash of noilly prat,ok not to worry hes just off tempo and will do it last,maybe the glas has been in the fridge chilling all this time and was just chilling the gin before giving the glass a wash with the noilly,by this time im feverishly looking in his fridge for a martini glass chilling away but i couldnt see it.so i look over his next step as he puts the boston shaker together and before i could stop him he was shaking my martini which i asked to be stirred,and then he proceeds to strain my gin into a glass which the bar back just pulled out of the glass washer steaming hot,what was the use of chilling my spirit when your just going to put it in a steaming hot glass,you wouldve been better to just have poured me a double shot of gin in a rocks glass neat.i wouldnt even dare describe what concoction he made the girls but they wouldve been better off drinking sugar syrup with food colouring.what im trying to say is if your a bartender willing to impress know how some of the classics are made,ask how they like it eg.martini i would ask the patron,how would you like your martini?sweet,dry,perfect or dirty then i would proceed by asking gin or vodka,and wait for a reply,then i would ask shaken or stirred,but preferrably i would stir it as i would have my spirits in the freezer whether it be gin or vodka,and i would also have them on my shelf so as you can see it then i would proceed to put it together with all the theatrics,making the drink deliberately slow in front of the customer so as to get them going like its the main event they were waiting for and to have some pride when putting this classic drink together,its simple but it is perfect,not too hard to make but it seems that everyone who is in the industry seem to wreck and i was one of those many years ago as a newbie behind the bar all gung ho and thinking i knew how to make it and totally demolish this simple drink.then after all that when everything is in place i would serve the drink with an olive cocktail napkin in front of the customer put the drink on the napkin and look the customer in the eye and smile and wait for the reaction,if everything goes well they should end up with a smile on their face and coming back for more.james bond may like his martini shaken but i like it stirred,knowing the classics will help you develop new drinks by giving old ones a re vamp with your own interpretation as long as the drink is well balanced in flavour

Classic Cocktails

Posted: December 24, 2006 in Cocktails

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as summer slowly fades for another year i would like to give one last toast before the weather turns.a drink that i like to indulge in from time to time is a well made mint julep or the mighty mojito.both drinks remind me of summer where you lounge around in boardies and thongs(flip flops)and the sound of the surf in the background.although for some,the mint julep is an all american tipple that has its roots deeply imbedded in the south,a placewhere the humidity of summer in the afternoon hangs heavy in the air and after a hard day days work the only thing that would quench your thirst is this drink,while you put your feet up to relax and watch the sunset.
my take on this wonderful beverage would be………..

mint julep

60 mls of woodford reseve bourbon
handful of mint leaves
1 tbls caster sugar
crushed ice

glass :old fashioned

garnish: mint sprigs

method: muddle mint leave in the mixing glass with the sugar to release the oils and aroma from the mint,add a little of the bourbon and crushed ice,now transfer the mix into the old fashioned glass,top up with more ice stir and add the rest of the bourbon stir again and top up with more crushed ice and garnish with mint sprigs

mojito is cubas national drink originating in havana,now made by bartenders in all corners of the globe.hemmingway drank mojitos in la bodeguita del medio,a bar im yet to drink at and hopefully will soon.originally a farmers drink in the early 1820’s it has elevated from its humble begginings and drunk by all.

mojito

60mls havana anejo rum
handful mint sprigs
half lime quartered
2 tbls caster sugar
soda water
crushed ice

glass: old fashioned

garnish: mint sprigs

method: add mint sugar and limes in the mixing glass and muddle together,pour contents into old fashioned glass add ice and stir.then add the rum,stir add a slpash of soda water,stir and top off with crushed ice.

Description of equipment

Posted: December 24, 2006 in Cocktails

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there are two types of shakers shown here,a boston shaker and a cobbler shaker.
the boston shaker comes in two parts a toughened glass half and the tin which has a slightly wider lip than the glass allowing the two parts to come together to form a seal so they can be shaken safely without coming apart.the glass part is also used in strirring cocktails with ice for example when your making a martini…..
the cobbler shaker entirely made of steel,the top of the cobbler has a smaller cap which has its own strainer,quite easy to use,just add all the ingredients shake,take off the cap and pour into the glass.

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speed pourers makes it easier to consistently pour providing a thin stream of alcohol and they fit into the necks of the bottles.bar blade makes a speedier way of opening beer bottles.tea strainer alows you to double strain a cocktail to stop chunks of unwanted fruit or ice into drinks.a peeler and a zester for making garnish

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a bar spoon is a long handled teaspoon used for stirring in a tall glass,light muddling of mint and layering of shots or floats,a hawthorne strainer for straining out ice it fits neatly into the boston glass.muddling stick for juice extraction from fruit and bashing herbs,and also an ice scoop

Latte Art

Posted: December 24, 2006 in Coffee

Lately ive been messing around at work with latte art with different pours be it single rosettas,multi rosettas,etching or all of these put together.its quite fun trying to come up with a few combinations and serve them to people,and i did my first double rosetta in a traditional cappucino cup which was fun as i was asked if i could do it and i replied that i didnt know as i hadnt thought about it or even tried it,but i was happy enough with the result

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