Rock & Rye

A Drink On The Rocks…..


December 2010

Vintage Cocktails #42: Have A Heart Cocktail

Originally published in Official Mixers Manual (Patrick Duffy, 1934), our next cocktail shares a name with a forgotten movie of the same year. Similar to the Doctor Cocktail, this cocktail also pairs a base spirit with Swedish Punsch and lime juice. Gin pairs excellently with rum, and as such works wonderfully in this drink. The grenadine serves to add a bit of color and some added sweetness. Go with a big bold Gin in this one. Your tastebuds will thank you. Cheers.

Have A Heart Cocktail
1 1/2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Swedish Punsch
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Grenadine


Vintage Cocktails #41: The Doctor Cocktail

The first cocktail using my homemade Swedish Punsch will be the namesake drink of the author of Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, The Doctor Cocktail. There are several versions of this particular drink, this version coming to us courtesy of Trader Vic. This drink is an amazing combination of rum, rum based liqueur, and lime juice. Delicious.

Doctor Cocktail
2 oz Jamaican Rum
1 oz Swedish Punsch
1 oz Lime Juice

Swedish Punsch

In my quest to go through all the drinks in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails I have had to search out several hard to find ingredients.  However there are several ingredients that are simply not available in the western hemisphere, Swedish Punsch, a traditional Nordic liqueur produced from a blend of arrack, sugar, water, citrus, and spices, being one of them. So, since this ingredient is not available commercially to me, I must make my own. Sounds easy enough right.

Well, while most of the ingredients are easily found in any grocery store, arrack is an ingredient that is difficult to find. Arrack is an alcohol distilled mainly in South East Asia from fermented fruit, grain, sugarcane, or the sap of coconut palms, and not to be confused with the middle eastern Arak, which is an anise flavored liquor similar to Ouzo. There are several versions of arrack being produced around the world, but only one will do for the Swedish Punsch. The particular variety we are looking for is Batavia Arrack. Distilled in Indonesia from sugarcane fermented with red rice cakes, it has a raw, funky flavor profile similar to Cachaça. Luckily for me, the import company Haus Alpenz that has made creme de violette, and allspice dram available, has also been importing Batavia Arrack into the US as well. If you can’t find it in your local liquor store, it can be ordered from So with all my ingredients in hand, I set about to make my punsch.

My next step was to decide on a recipe. I looked at dozens of recipes and ultimately settled on Eric Ellestad’s recipe for Tales of the Cocktail 2008. While I used Eric’s recipe, I scaled it back as I didn’t really want to end up with 3 liters of Punsch.

Underhill Punsch–Tales Version

2 750ml Bottles of El Dorado 5 Year Demarara Rum
1 750ml Bottle Batavia Arrack van Oosten.
8 lemons, sliced thin and seeded.
750ml Water.
8 teaspoons Yunnan Fancy China Black Tea.
2 crushed cardamom pods.
4 cups Washed Raw Sugar.
This makes a bit more than 3 litres.

Put sliced lemon in a resealable non-reactive container(s). Pour Rum and Batavia Arrack over lemons. Cover and steep for 6 hours.
Heat water and steep tea and cardamom in it for the usual 6 minutes. Pour through cheesecloth to remove tea leaves and cardamom pods.
Dissolve sugar in hot tea and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate.
After 6 hours, pour rum off of sliced citrus, without squeezing fruit.
Combine tea syrup and flavored rum. Filter and bottle in a clean sealable container(s). Age at least overnight and enjoy where Swedish Punch is called for.

This makes a great tasting liqueur that I look forward to using in several cocktails. Try it and let me know what you think. Cheers!

MxMo LIII: Like That? You’ll Love This!

This Month’s Mixology Monday is hosted by Chris Amirault at the eGullet forums. Chris has suggested for the theme, “Like That? You’ll Love This!” Here’s how he describes it:

Here’s the story. At the bar where I now work, I regularly receive requests for the bar staples of the late 20th century, espresso martinis, appletinis, and other things that end inappropriately in -tini. Though these are standard-issue drinks at most bars, Cook & Brown Public House aims for a classic approach that eschews the pucker line, flavored vodkas, and bottled sour mix.

I’ve been talking with other bartenders and they, too, want to find a balance between customer service and stocking products that they can’t or won’t back. In addition, a well-made tweak of someone’s favorite can be just the ticket through the gate to the sort of quality cocktails you want to serve guests at home or at work. Hence this MxMo, devoted to sharing gateway drinks that allow you to say, “If you like that, you’ll love this!”

With that in mind, lets get to work. Currently I am not employed at a bar, and most of the people that come to my home bar know what kind of drinks I make. However, when I have someone new over and ask them what they would like, I often get answered by blank stares. Knowing that many of these people are used to sweeter, sugary drinks, I will ask them what they usually get. A Lemon Drop is by far the most common answer, and I think the easiest gateway cocktail to work with. Almost every bar makes at least an approximation of one, and it’s really not that bad of a cocktail. Being of the sour family, it’s formulation is about the same as a classic Daiquiri, or a Whiskey Sour, or a Sidecar. All of which I would consider great cocktails. So with that in mind, some simple tweaks of said Lemon Drop can be a great way to educate someone, and get them deeper into the world of cocktails.

We’ll take our basic sour formula of 2-1-1, and mix up our Lemon Drop.

Lemon Drop
2 oz Citrus Vodka
1 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Lemon Juice

Now we have a couple of choices for our next iteration. We could replace the vodka with gin, we could replace the simple syrup with an orange liqueur, we could add bitters, or we could do all three. I usually will do maybe two of the three, with the goal of slowly working in other ingredients slowly. So lets do that and see how it works.

Improved Lemon Drop
2 oz Citrus Vodka
1 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
2 dashes Lemon or Orange Bitters


Gin Sour
2 oz Gin
1 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Lemon Juice
2 Dashes Lemon Bitters

With these drinks we have taken a simple vodka sour and made it more interesting by substitution and/or addition. Neither drink is a bold departure from the original as to not scare the person away, but both are still more complex (in taste, not execution) than the original. From here we can continue down the white spirits list and introduce the Collins, French 75, Daiquiri, or we can introduce some dark spirits in the form of a Sidecar, Whiskey Sour, etc. Choosing a basic cocktail and slowly expanding it is a great way to get someone to expand their drinking sights. And when they have been to the good side, I don’t think most will want to go back. Cheers, and thanks again to Chris for hosting. Be sure to check out the eGullet Forums for the roundup!

Hot Buttered Rum

When it starts to get chilly up here in the pacific northwest, all I want to do is stay inside, wrap myself in a blanket in front of a fire, and enjoy a great wintertime beverage. Probably one of my favorite holiday bevies is a good Hot Buttered Rum. While I like to make my own buttered rum batter, this is a drink that can be easily made with ingredients on hand as well.

Hot Spiced Rum – Bartenders Guide (Jerry Thomas,1862)
1 tsp sugar
2 oz Jamaica Rum
1 tsp spices (allspice & cloves)
1 piece of butter as large as half of a chestnut
3-4 oz hot water

While this is a fine beverage for a chilly evening. It can be made even better with a little preparation.

Buttered Rum Batter
1 Cup Butter
1 Pint Vanilla Ice Cream
1 lb powdered Sugar
1 lb brown sugar
2 tbsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla extract
allow butter and ice cream to come to room temperature. Mix well.
Can be stored in refridgerator for up to a week, in the freezer for a month.

Mixing this batter into your rum makes for a warm, rich, spicy drink that is perfect for those long winter nights. If you want to go even richer, hot cider may be used in place of the hot water.

Hot Buttered Rum
2 oz Spiced Rum
2 heaping barspoons batter
4 oz hot water
top with freshly whipped cream if so desired.

Egg Nog

The other day I was craving some good eggnog, and I wondered why eggnog was only a holiday drink? When did the eggnog originate, and when did it become a staple of the holidays? Let’s do some research and find out.

Eggs have been used in beverages for centuries. In ancient times, drinks were used to toast the gods. Early Northern European beers were often mixed with egg, which in ancient mythology was a symbol of life everlasting with promises of divine reward. When mixed into a beer it became a way to communicate with the gods via a hardy toast offering. Traditionally, their ritual demanded it be drunk from leather jacks, a material which in the mind of the warrior symbolized the armor of the day and was often considered the only suitable container of a masculine offering to their gods. Many of these toasting customs survive even today, although the vessel in which to toast has evolved from leather to pewter pots, to glass and mugs.

As far back as the 13th century, monks were drinking posset, hot milk curdled with ale or wine often mixed with eggs and figs. Is this possibly the pre-curser to the modern eggnog? These possets, made with sherry, madiera, and strong ales, eventually became very popular throughout europe and especially in England
where it was a drink of the upper class due to the expense of fresh milk and eggs. A London recipe from Robert May’s 1678 The Accomplisht Cook (Robert May, 1678) calls for “twenty eggs, a pottle of good sweet cream, whole cinnamon, nutmeg and sack.” However, in the New World, both milk and eggs could be found in abundance, as well as one other important ingredient. Rum. In colonial America, rum soon took the place of the fortified wines. And why not, it was cheaper, more abundant, and probably tasted better as well.

Here is an early recipe from Directions for Cookery (Eliza Leslie, 1851).

Beat separately the yolks and whites of six eggs.
Stir the yolks into a quart of rich milk, or thin cream,
Add half a pound of sugar.
Mix in half a pint of rum or brandy.
Flavor it with a grated nutmeg.
Lastly, stir in gently the beaten whites of three eggs.
It should be mixed in a china bowl.

During this time, eggnog became a celebrated holiday drink. As winter would set in and the holidays approached, the eggnog would be the social punch that greeted you upon your arrival at someone’s house. In fact, it was noted by an English visitor in 1866, “Christmas is not properly observed unless you brew egg nogg for all comers; everybody calls on everybody else; and each call is celebrated by a solemn egg-nogging…It is made cold and is drunk cold and is to be commended.”

New Year’s Day was also a day for eggnog as young men in Baltimore would go house to house calling on their friends. At each they would drink a glass of eggnog, becoming more and more inebriated as the celebration went on. It was quite a feat to finish that day standing on your own two feet! Here are a couple of eggnog recipes for you to try.

Egg Nogg – Bartender’s Guide (Jerry Thomas, 1862)
1 tbsp bar sugar
1 tbsp water
1 egg
1 wine glass cognac brandy
1/2 wine glass santa cruz rum
1/3 tumbler milk

Baltimore Egg Nogg – Bartender’s Guide (Jerry Thomas, 1887)
Take the yellow of 10 eggs and 12 table-spoonfuls of pulverized loaf sugar, and beat them to the consistency of cream; to this add two-thirds of a nutmeg grated, and beat well together; then mix in a half a pint of good brandy or Jamaica rum, and two wine-glasses of Madeira wine. Have ready the whites of the eggs, beaten to a stiff froth, and beat them into the above mixture. When this is all done, stir in six pints of good rich milk. There is no heat used.

Egg Nog – Savoy Cocktail Book (Harry Craddock, 1930)
1 egg
1/2 oz powdered sugar
1 1/2 oz Liquor (Rum, Brandy, Madeira, Sherry, etc..)
Fill with milk

Egg Nog – (Jeffrey Morgenthaler)
2 large eggs
3 oz (by volume) granulated sugar
½ tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
2 oz brandy
2 oz spiced rum
6 oz whole milk
4 oz heavy cream
(serves 2)

Dennis’s Eggnog
1 whole egg
2 oz spiced rum
1/2 oz Allspice Dram
1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg
2 oz cream
2 oz milk

The Brewery

I have recently taken up brewing beer at home. While my wife will say that I don’t really have the time for another hobby, it is really fun to brew your own beer. In addition to making something that you can enjoy and share with friends, it gives you a great opportunity to learn more about beer. From beer styles and ingredients, to brewing methods, there is an abundance of information out there that will not only allow you to brew great beer, but have a blast doing it.

So with that in mind, I have been doing a lot of reading in regards to home brew methods and brewery design, and I have come up with the design for my home brewery. Following the lead of Lonnie Mac, a great homebrewer and the pioneer of the Brutus 10 concept, I am going to be building a modified version of his Brutus 2.0, also taking may of the suggestions from JKarp over at the Home Brew Talk forums.

What I am going to be building will be a version of a 2 vessel RIMS system, or more specifically, a Constant Recirculation Direct Fired Mash system. My system will be a 30amp electric system built around a 8gal Boil Kettle/Hot Liquor Tank and a 5gal Mash/Lauter Tun cooler. Heating/Boiling will be accomplished with a 5500watt heater coil mounted in the Boil Kettle. Chilling will be accomplished with a counterflow chiller permanently plumbed into a single pump. Temperatures for Mashing/Sparging will be monitored and controlled by a PIDs with RTD sensors.

Even though all the cool people are building fancy stands out of polished or powder coated stainless, since I have no welding skills I have repurposed an entertainment stand that I built when I still lived at home. It is made of Corian solid surface material and will be very durable, as well as a breeze to keep clean. Locking casters have been added to the bottom for portability as well as safety. While this is mostly in the design phase, keep your eye out for updates as I will try to document my progress. Cheers!

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