Science Of Drink

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S.I.P.#18 – Punch! – English Milk Punch

30 January 2015 · No Comments

Those people, who have been tracking my blog for a relatively long time, probably saw the logo, which is showing on the left right now. It is a logo of an on-line event for Russian-speaking blogger-imbibers, which has, also, such an eye-catching English name – S.I.P. – Shake! Imbibe! Post! These events, or on-line parties were pretty popular in the Russian segment of the World Wide Web (also called as Runet, means, ‘Russian Internet’) for the past few years until Russia committed the well-known egregious aggression against Ukraine, and generally speaking against all of the civilized world. Unfortunately most Russians (i mean here, the citizens of the Russian Federation. It isn’t a question of nationality – the truth is that I am an ethnic Russian), so, most Russians are giving warm encouragement to this aggression and, consequently, our companionship broke down completely. Namely for this reason our eighteenth S.I.P. is expected to be quite desolated 8)

The topic of S.I.P.#18 is Punch! As a matter of fact this topic runs contrary to our common rule with which we usually choose the exact cocktail for our collective exploring and sharing of opinions. This topic is an absolutely different case. It’s clear that punch is quite a wide thing, and it seems almost impossible to get an agreement in choices of even a couple of participants.

Clear English Milk Punch in a decanter |

Trying to understand certain key specifics of punch in the modern world of mixing drinks, I could realize only this one – punch was a big cocktail :) I mean, punch is a sort of huge mixed drink. A sort of cocktail for a company. But then, in our individualistic world, there are no strong reasons in modern bar culture which can prevent client’s desire to get an individual serving of his punch of choice which should be paid for appropriately ;)

The Punch! |

However, despite having some experience in individual punches like Gin Punch, Knickerbocker Punch, Pisco Punch, or Ti’ Punch, I decided to try something real. I decided to prepare something that I can really share with my friends. And that statement of question turned out a true challenge for me. You know, it is not so easy to mix up big punches not at the big party but in a quiet workroom. Certainly, it is no problem to prepare the drink, but utilizing it becomes a serious problem. In spite of having a hobby in cocktail mixing, I drink really not very much, my wife drinks far less, but if I invite an appropriate crowd of friends, I, perhaps, won’t be able to have enough time for photographing and describing. It take quite a different mood to throw a party or create a post. But even so I could find a solution!

The English Milk Punch |

For the S.I.P.#18 – Punch! I picked out an absolutely unique punch – very old [it is said to have been created by the famous English playwright of the Restoration Aphra Behn], noble [created in English high-society and printed, specifically, in the first cocktail chrestomathy – How to Mix Drinks, or Bon-Vivants Companion by Jerry Thomas], absolutely the weirdest [it contains milk but it is pretty clear, isn’t it weird?], and very popular in modern American cocktail geek circles, drink.

Going by, lets me say, a mixoshpere, it looks like this punch have been gathering popularity for last year or two. Esquire experts gave it a ‘Cocktail of the Year’ badge in 2014. It can really excite.

For making an acquaintance I used a recipe from the aforementioned Thomas’ first book. Obviously I had to make some unessential changes, for example, I converted the recipe to metric units and slightly scaled it.

The English Milk Punch straight up |

English Milk Punch

120 ml lemon juice
the rind of one lemon
150 g sugar
1/3 pineapple, peeled, sliced
2 cloves
7 coriander seeds
1/3 small cinnamon stick
160 ml cognac
160 ml rum
*40 ml arrack
80 ml strong green tea
330 ml boiling water
330 ml whole milk
Peel a middle sized lemon trying to avoid white pith underneath. Put the lemon rind into an appropriate saucepan and add about 2/3 of the sugar, rub thoroughly with a muddler. Then add sliced pineapple, spices, and muddle. Add the other ingredients except milk. The boiled water should be added last. Briskly stir for dissolving of the sugar and close tight. Let the mix steep at least 6 hours in a cold place. After steeping, add hot milk and 40 ml of fresh pressed lemon juice. In this very moment milk must curl. Filter through filter paper / jelly-bag / cheesecloth or something like this. The drink must be quite clear, if you can’t filter, try to settle the punch. Strained punch must be refrigerated before serving. Serve straight up. This recipe is about for 1 liter of the punch.

Now, as usual, some words about the ingredients particularly about arrack. First of all you should know – it isn’t that arrack which is similar to ouzo :) It is an absolutely another beverage. It is a strong alcohol beverage made in some Asian countries like Indonesia or Sri Lanka and which usually is distilled from quite exotic raw stuff. In Indonesia arrack is distilled from molasses with an addition of fermented red rice cookies (Batavia Arrack), and in Sri Lanka it is distilled from fermented juice of coconut palm tree flowers. And yes, in fact, arrack is an essential component of many old punches. But here… There is certain strange asterisk in the original recipe, isn’t it? And what do we know about asterisks? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an asterisk is a symbol * that is used in printed text especially to tell someone to read a note that can be found at the bottom of a page. But the truth is that there isn’t a note at the bottom of a page [I have an e-copy of 1962 edt. digitized by Google]. What’s a pity… Oh, dear, it seems we will never find out the meaning … But I suppose, this asterisk means… omit this if you haven’t got it, isn’t it? Really, you must admit it, that it is the most believable speculation. So, I discarded arrack [I just haven’t got it in my liquor cabinet] with clear conscience 8)

The ingredients of English Milk Punch |

As I decided to try this historical recipe of the English Punch I had to read some historical surveys (actually it was only Punch by D. Wondrich and the excellent post about this punch by Adam Elmegirab on the blog called The Jerry Thomas Project) for picking out the rest of the ingredients. As a result I decided to use a composition of Meukow VS Cognac [young, relatively pungent and lively spirit, 80 proof], Rhum J.M. V.S.O.P. [86 proof], Rum Mount Gay Black Barrel [86 proof] and a pungent, over-proof Lemon Hart Demerara Rum 151 proof as a base of the drink.

Certainly I have to say some words about execution. There are two troublesome points in preparation of English Milk Punch. The first is milk curdling and the second is separating of curdled milk from the drink. At the first sight it looks obvious and easy – you should add milk, milk should curdle and you should set curdled milk apart, but those things look easy only on paper…

The first trouble – with milk – pertains to modern food technology. I don’t now how it is in the USA, but here in Ukraine some sort of long-term storage milk in the carton is… Hmmm, how can I say this? It isn’t milk, actually. It is like an esculent colloidal solution. Proteins, particularly globulins, minerals, vitamins, supplements, additives, ultrapasteurized, normalized, enriched… Hell on wheels, really… I just don’t belive that it is able to curdle 8) So, newly drown whole milk from a local farmer’s market is the only and the best choice.

The second question is separating curdled milk from the drink. Most recommended ways are straining through some layers of cheesecloth [it works but not very well], sifting through a chinois or a jelly-bag [it works not so effectivly, proven!], and filtering with paper [I used filter paper, it worked exceptionally well. Some people say that paper towels can be employed, but I didn’t test it this way]. Actually, if you couldn’t clarify the punch by straining or sifting, you may allow the mix to settle. But, remember, the punch must be pretty clear before serving.

The glass of English Milk Punch |

The first sip of the English Punch was a truly intriguing… Suspense… In truth, I had absolutely no idea how it could taste. I had never drunk such a thing before. And the English Milk Punch didn’t let me down! It was an absolutely amazing drink. The first sip really surprised me with an utterly distinguished texture and mouthfeel and a very pleasant and balanced palate. Gorgeous!

The English Milk punch has a balanced fruity (pineapple, citrus adorned with spices), sweet-and-sour taste with a powerful solid spirits note, I mean, not spirituous but derived from the liquors used. I think, namely that I can describe it as a lush palate. All components work very well in this drink but in my humble opinion the milk whey makes this drink. It brings exceptional softness, roundness in the palate and mouthfeel. When you drink the English Milk Punch your tongue, gums, all mouth organs feel like they contacting with cold glass, or silk, or some of the smoothest things in the world. It is an amazing feeling! It is worth preparing the drink for the whole day long!

Yet one more thing – some people suggest serving Milk Punch over ice. I see this point – ice keeps the drink cold and visually magnifies it, but, it seems, it has not the best affect on the mouthfeel. It makes punch diluted and this can spoil its unique texture. So, I insist, serve it straight up only!

→ No CommentsTags: Brandy · Rum · S.I.P.

Classic Cooked Egg Nog

7 January 2015 · 2 Comments

Some days ago I posted about my first sips of a traditional American Christmas drink – Eggnog. In that entry I briefly mentioned that there were two ways to achieve proper texture of eggnog (you should realize, that these two ways give entirely different results). First – maturing – I tried with my first recipe of Uncle Angelo’s Eggnog by Dale DeGroffe (who, actually, as you can see in this video, mixes his famous Uncle Angelo’s Eggnogs in quite original way and without any ripening) and second – cooking I am going to describe here.

Cooked Egg Nog

In a way, it is a philosophical issue – To cook or not to cook [eggnogs]: that is the question! And I see at least two reasons that make people cook their nogs. First – a lot of people are afraid of consuming raw eggs, they are frightened by salmonella, stomach bug and other indigestions. But another reason seems the most important – cooked eggnog is absolutely delicious! Besides, cooking of eggnog allows achieving of a really thick, rich and textural eggnog.

Cooked eggnog consists of the same ingredients as, let’s say, a plain one. Eggs, milk, cream, spices and bourbon, but its preparation is an absolutely culinary journey. I.e. you really need to cook it :) And this may frighten many that are much stronger than mythical salmonella :) What is it you say? You gonna put poached eggs in my nog, are you nuts, bro? 8)

Really, no, there won’t be any poached eggs in your eggnog, bro, if you are attentive enough and cook your eggnog in the right way 8)

Traditional Christmas Cooked Egg Nog in a beaty crystal mug

Classic Cooked Egg Nog (Классический заварной Эгг Ног)

2 big chicken eggs
75 g sugar
250 ml milk
75 ml cream
a pinch of salt
grated nutmeg (to taste)
grated cinnamon (to taste)
some cloves (to taste, optional)
vanilla extract (to taste)
80 ml bourbon
1. In an appropriate sized saucepan pour milk, cream (if you use half and half), add pinch of salt, fresh grounded nutmeg, cinnamon, some whole cloves or another spices and heat the mix till it is steaming (but do not boil! As we all know, boiled milk isn’t that tasty :) Leave warm milk mixture to steep. Before using I prefer to strain the mix through a tea strainer.
2. Separate eggs. Put egg whites in an appropriate airtight container and refrigerate or (if you are going to keep your eggnog relatively long) freeze.
3. Beat yolks in a large bowl until pale than add about three-fourth of the sugar and beat until they become almost white.
4. Pour warm spicy mixture to beaten yolks very slowly. Stir up constantly while you are pouring the milk.
5. Set the mixture on medium (or low) heat and cook it about 10-15 min at 160°F until certain thickening. Don’t let the mix boil! It is very important, because if the mix get boiled, yolks will curdle and the drink will be completely spoiled.
6. If you don’t have a thermometer, you may use a spoon-test for determining of an end point of cooking. Simple dip a metal spoon into the mix and look at – the mix should coat the spoon with a thin smooth film if ready.
7. After cooking let eggnog cool a little and add cream, vanilla extract and bourbon.
8. Chill eggnog in a fridge for several hours or overnight.
9. Right before serving beat egg whites (you should thaw they before, of course, and warm up they to room temperature) until soft peaks, add rest of the sugar and beat until stiff peaks.
10. In an appropriate punch bowl mix together chilled eggnog and beaten egg whites, stir gently with a whisk until completely smooth.
11. Grate some nutmeg on top of the eggnog if you use a punch bowl, otherwise grate nutmeg on top of each drink. Serve in beautiful punch cups or short tumblers.

All ingredients are traditional for eggnog and, consequently, may vary. Notice, if you decided to cook your eggnog because you are afraid of salmonella, I recommend using pasteurized eggs or egg whites for serving. The texture of eggnog is quite affected by how fat your dairy is, but you health is too :) Also you can change the amount of sugar if you prefer a not so sweet eggnog, but I am a real sweet tooth. Traditional species for eggnogs are nutmeg (absolutely essential), cinnamon (strongly recommended), cloves (if you want them, I usually do), cardamom (for the eccentric, I want to try it) and vanilla (strictly recommended too).

Even though I only specify bourbon in the recipe, rum (specifically dark or spiced) and brandy (cognac) or their mixes are also used. This season I made my cooked eggnogs only with bourbon, specifically Wild Turkey 101, and I was totally satisfied with the results.

Fluffy and thick top of real Cooked Egg Nog grated with nutmeg

If you succeed in following these directions, you will obtain an absolutely perfect eggnog – thick, fluffy, rich and smooth. And such eggnog has a distinguished smell and taste. A sweet, spicy, creamy, a little boozy, and ultimately a desert drink. Posh and lush desert drink 8) To be honest, this season, it is cooked eggnog that wins my heart (but, in fact, I did not the eggnog aged for three weeks yet, perhaps, something much more interesting is awaiting me next Christmas season. Well, I will have to just wait, a reminder (on next Thanksgiving) has already been set up! :)

P.S. I forget again and again to mention that eggnog can be non-alcoholic :) For this purpose just omit the liquor as you prepare cooked eggnog (actually, you can add booze directly in your glass later, bro ;)

→ 2 CommentsTags: Bourbon · Brandy · Rum

My first Eggnog and Happy Christmas (Orthodox)!

6 January 2015 · 3 Comments

Well, certainly I know that my American ilk posted their exciting entries about Eggnog all December long and have already forgotten about this drink, but I, as a matter of fact, have an excuse. Eggnog is a traditional Christmas drink, isn’t it? So, let me restate that Eggnog is a drink which some (okay, okay – it is a risqué assumption) Christians usually have on Christmas. But! Look! Not all Christians have Christmas in December! Actually, being Orthodox, we (I mean Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians) have our Christmas Eve on January 6 thus I am just in time 8)

Obviously, Eggnog isn’t our traditional Christmas drink. As a matter of fact here in Ukraine it is almost an unknown drink. Most people even have never heard about eggnog, needless to say they have never tasted it. So, I will be a sort of pioneer of eggnog around here 8)

Eggnog |

As I could notice eggnog is quite popular in the USA. Being popular stuff in a market system, eggnog, certainly, became a commercial product a long time ago. Adam Smith’s invisible hand of the market takes heed to bring eggnog even to the laziest persons – just take down a carton of the drink from a grocery store shelf and you are in the trend. But also I noticed that commercial stuff, even spiked with a small batch bourbon, isn’t considered a connoisseur’s choice ;) People who understand prefer to make eggnog from scratch. In my experience, this is the best way to enjoy this drink.

Generally, modern homemade eggnog is prepared with raw eggs, some dairy (milk, cream or both), sugar, spices (at least nutmeg) and liquors (bourbon, rum, brandy – all are allowed). In particular, all ingredients may vary – it seems there are millions of eggnog recipes just like for a Martini (or another cocktail superstar). So, it wasn’t easy to pick out a recipe for first tasting, but fortunately I have several authorities which never short-sell me in a wide range of questions about mixed drinks. One of these authorities is Dale DeGroff whose famous recipe of Uncle Angelo’s Eggnog I followed for starters (As a base I used a recipe from his book The Essential Cocktail, if you haven’t got it, you also can find the recipe on

Egg Nog |

Uncle Angelo’s Eggnog (by Dale DeGroff)

1 egg
35 g sugar
150 ml milk
75 ml heavy cream
40 ml bourbon
30 ml spiced rum
10 ml flavorful rum
Separate egg. In a bowl beat together yolk with about two-thirds (or a little more) of sugar until mix becomes pale in color even almost white. Then add slowly milk and cream, stir up the mix with a whisk. Then add liquors and stir again. The mix must be quite homogeneous. In another bowl whip the egg white until soft peaks then add the rest of sugar and whip thoroughly until stiff peaks. Beware of not overbeating the whites, the froth must glisten. Then pour slowly yolk mixture in the whipped egg whites stirring eggnog constantly with a whisk. Stir until entirely smooth. Chill eggnog in a fridge for a couple of hours or serve it in a chilled bowl standing over ice. Serve eggnog in beautiful crystal mugs or punch cups or just in short tumblers. Grate nutmeg on top of the each drink. It seems, this recipe gives 2 serving, so feel free to scale it if you need.

Quite literally such eggnog is pretty similar to flip (diluted with some dairy) but there is something that can make this drink different – certain preparation tricks. As a matter of fact, there are two different ways to make eggnog (not only this eggnog, I mean, all eggnogs) quite a distinctive drink. It’s, lets say, maturing (or ripening) and cooking. So, it will probably be better to mature the eggnog for a minimum of five days, even though this recipe tastes pretty good right after mixing.

As I could have noticed, one of the most important things in eggnog is consistency. It seems, eggnog must have an appropriate texture and mouthfeel. Although it is quite difficult to realize these two key things just by reading posts or watching youtube 8) So, I should engage an expert 8) Fortunately, my English teacher (native American) kindly accepted my invitation to a tasting and gave me some advice.

Several attempts (with this recipe and some others) showed that both tricks affected texture significantly (even though they gave rather different results). They work in different ways, but both of them bring additional thickness, smoothness and roundness to the drink. Actually, cooking gives thicker and fluffy eggnog [it is another story and it will be coming soon], but maturing, as for me, gives a more delicate, roundish, silky texture and quite interesting mouthfeel. Also maturing affects the flavor and palate of eggnog. It seems, maturing of eggnog is a very interesting procedure to explore, and I should give it more attention in the next season (and try to mature it for quite longer periods).

Two Beauty Eggnogs |

Well, my first acquaintance came off. Eggnog is a rather pleasant dessert drink with a lovely small kick. It is very delicious. It suits winter holidays wonderfully. It is so reach and heavy (in sugar, fat and ultimately – calories;) and it undoubtedly can replace holiday cake on the table. And, I must admit, eggnog may also suit wonderfully our Christmas tradition. Ukrainian Christmas cuisine is very rich and heavy, [actually it is such all year around ;)] – a roasted goose or a duck, kholodec – traditional dish – a sort of broth jelly (aspic) with a lot of different boiled meat in it (usually chicken (rooster) with hog knuckle and beef), pork stew, fried fish and, of course, traditional homemade roasted hog sausage. A traditional Christmas sweet dish is kutia – a sort of boiled cereal with raisins usually served with uzvar – soft drink from dried apples and sometimes pears. However, traditionally, kutia isn’t a dessert, it opens Christmas table. This heavy meal serve a purpose to break the Christmas Lent and I don’t see any reason to not to include such a rich and heavy concoction like eggnog at the close of that feast 8) Therefore, thanks to globalization, which puts bourbon on our shelves, and World Wide Web, that gives us knowledge (and of course, many thanks to American bloggers who write so passionately about eggnog) now I can make Eggnog my Christmas tradition too.

P.S. Being an eggnog novice I don’t give so much useful information in this post, if you need not emotions but information, I want to recommend some useful pages – Brilliant post on Kitchen Riffs about Eggnog (one of the best on the web, I am positive), and 5 Tips about Eggnog from Derek Brown on

P.P.S.S. Also I should thank Denise from for such a stunning idea – photgraphing eggnog with a fir twig 8)

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→ 3 CommentsTags: Bourbon · Rum

Madeira Flip and Boston Flip

19 December 2014 · 4 Comments

As a matter of fact my blog is a place where I constantly confess my love for different mixed drinks. I have not been writing about a disappointing tasting recently – the life is too short for describing things you don’t like. Today the time is ripe for describing my huge love for yet another type of wine flips – Madeira Flip. I’ve gotten acquainted with wine flips not so long ago — I was fascinated by Porto Flip last January, after that I started to discover another type of flips, and thus, to explore different type of fortified wines, which usually are a base spirit of these drinks. Such exploring has secondary effect that I start to extensively use these different types of fortified wines in various cocktails. This broadens my imbibing horizons pretty well – there are only benefits!

Wide usage of fortified wines in flips is due to their powerful character. Actually, flip is not an easy workout for wine inasmuch as egg yolk has its own taste and smell and wine must have a certain potential to pass through this Kogel-mogel.

The Madeira Flip |

One of the best choices in case of flips is Madeira wine. Very aromatic, flavorful, distinctive wine from Portuguese archipelago – Madeira Islands. The main thing that makes Madeira Madeira is a maderization process – longterm moderate heating of wine that forms its unique palate. This effect was discovered accidentally while fortified wines from Madeira were traveling to India and, if they weren’t sold, back. After such long trip around Africa through two oceans wines got constitutive improvements. This way famous Madeira wine was born. Obviously, nobody ships wines around half of the world for producing Madeira now. Maderization is fully performed during the so called estufagem aging process. According to the EU regulations, Madeira wine is regional fortified wine produced only in Madeira Islands from specific grapes varieties such as Sercial, Verdelho, Bual or Malvasia. However, most of reasonably priced Madeiras are produced from Tinta Negra variety. Madeira wines also are classified by sugar content – from Seco (Dry) to Doce (Sweet) and by age (being aged wines).

One of my favorite books in which wine flips are mentioned is New and Improved Bartender’s Manual and a Guide for Hotels and Restaurants by Harry Jonson. You know why? Every described recipe author accompanies with lovely ‘This is a very delicious drink, and gives strength to delicate people’. Certainly! I am such a delicate man which periodically gets strength from wine flips ;) And yeah! They are extremely delicious.

Being a huge fan of flips I have discovered my own flip construction, which was successfully probed on Porto Flip (unfortunately I haven’t yet written the post in English, but if you click the link you can see a couple of photos and read the recipe). In case of Madeira Flip I never add liqueurs, in my humble opinion this wine doesn’t need such improvements.

Madeira Flip

Madeira Flip

50 ml madeira
1 tsp. sugar syrup (1:2)
4 whole quail eggs
Put all the ingredients into a shaker and shake vigorously without ice. Then add a few large ice-cubes and chill the cocktail. Strain into a coupe-glass. Dust with freshly grated nutmeg.

Traditionally, a couple of words about the ingredients. Let’s begin with a sugar syrup questions. Actually many sources prescribe using plain sugar in flips but I think it is not ideal because it’s so difficult to control completeness of granulated sugar dissolving. The most usable form of sugar in the bar is, certainly, syrup. But we should always remember that syrup contains water so it can dilute our cocktails. However, if we don’t need such dilution (actually, it may be important for achieving proper texture and mouthfeel for some drinks), the right way is using strong sugar syrup, for example, 1:2 or even stronger. For my flips I always use a 1:2 syrup which I make from 1 part unrefined Demerara sugar (Billington’s), 1 part quality refined granulated sugar and 1 part water. Also I am always simmer my syrup for some time for the best taste and good preservation (simmering is important if you make a syrup from unrefined sugar).

In reference to the amount of sugar syrup, it totally depends on your tastes and sweetness of Madeira wine that is used. Personally, I prefer rather sweet flips, as you have noticed by now ;)

The next important question is eggs. Yes, I know, that a routine cocktail ingredient is chicken eggs. But I specify quail ones. I think it is the best choice for such a delicate cocktail as flip. Actually, quail eggs have plenty of advantages in comparison with chicken eggs. First off all, raw quail eggs are undoubtedly tastier than chicken’s, next, they are healthier and of course they are cuter! 8) [It seems to be significant for overcoming ovophobia 8)] Delicacy eggs for delicacy cocktails, that’s right! But I should warn, contrary to popular belief that quail eggs are safer [concerning salmonella] than chicken eggs – it isn’t true. Both type of eggs are safe enough if consumed fresh and with certain caution but, in any case, risks can’t be reduced to zero.

As to Madeira, I should admit that I have such a narrow experience here. As a matter of fact, I usually use inexpensive wines, 3-5 years old. And yes, being a sweet tooth imbiber, I prefer sweet full rich Madeira in my flips.

And, finally, if you properly combine these three things, i.e. if you shake the mix as hard as you can and a little harder (I strictly recommend using dry shake with a little cheat in the form of a hawthorn strainer spring in the shaker for the best result), you will obtain an absolutely awesome, no, not drink, but nectar. It tastes so good! Or, wait, no – It DOES taste damn good! :) (It is really difficult to express my admiration for flips using a non-mother tongue). Sure enough, Madeira Flip is an exquisite dessert drink. Madeira brings a ton of sweet dessert tastes to the drink. Cacao and chocolate, nuts, fresh pastry, dried and candied fruits wallow in a thick silky foam. Absolutely wonderful!

The Boston Flip |

Definitely, everything is totally perfect in wine flips, probably except for their strength 8) An ounce and a half of fortified wine is almost nothing in our hectic life, isn’t it? 8) But, fortunately, mankind has successfully solved this problem already, for example with Boston Flip – Madera flip fortified with American whiskey. This cocktail was founded on the stunning Spirited Alchemy Blog this summer and, actually, that was an inspiration :) In spite of the fact that I had bookmarked the same recipe in Cocktails and Mixed Drinks by Anthony Hogg way back last winter 8)

It so happened that I was not in the proper mood, so I didn’t investigate the history of the Boston Flip. However I can’t help mentioning the sophisticated name of the drink. Obviously, it’s impossible to imagine the best name for an old drink with English origin, which consists of imported Madeira (which usually ships by sea) and real American spirit heritage – Rye, isn’t it?

As a rule, a common recipe of Boston Flip prescribes an ounce and a half (or even two ounces) of each wine and whiskey, but I decided not to break my favorite flip construction so I slightly decreased the amount of liquors.

Boston Flip

Boston Flip

30 ml rye whiskey (or bourbon)
30 ml madeira
1 tsp. sugar syrup (1:2)
4 whole quail eggs
Put all the ingredients into a shaker and shake vigorously without ice. Then add a few large ice-cubes and chill the cocktail. Strain into a coupe-glass. Dust with freshly grated nutmeg.

Whatever considerations about the flip ingredients mentioned above are completely appropriate for this drink. The whiskey question gives us some space for experiments. The point is that some old books strongly recommend rye whiskey while some modern resources concede bourbon. I was happy to taste the flip with both type of American whiskey.

As I wrote above, Madeira Flip is my the most exquisite dessert. And usually it takes me about a few second to guzzle it 8) while mixing takes me at least several minutes. It seems to be so disproportionate, but it’s completely righted with whiskey :) Boston Flip allows me to sip the drink more slowly so my pleasure time aspires being equal to working time. Not bad! 8)

Rye plays very well in that flip. If we talk about some pungent and powerful stuff like my favorite Wild Turkey Rye 101 (actually, here, in Ukraine, rye is a very hard-to-find liquor, so, to my great embarrassment, I’ve only got two bottles of rye in my bar cabinet – the above-mentioned Wild Turkey and a Jim Beam Rye), it brings a lot of spicy, peppery, burning notes to the drink. And that works well! Just as it is impossible to spoil dark chocolate with chili pepper, so it is impossible to spoil Madeira Flip with rye 8)

Another, a bit milder, whiskey (especially most of my bourbons) give a not so distinguished flip. All my Boston Flips were excellent drinks but some whiskey were able to play only supporting role, which nevertheless they played very well :) In any case, Boston Flip is an awesome drink that works as well as a dessert and a seductive and hefty nightcap alike.

→ 4 CommentsTags: Bourbon · Madeira · Whisk(e)y

Three Faces

4 December 2014 · 9 Comments

Every fall I obsess about the same thing – strong and aromatic cocktails with rum. Additionally, I prefer pretty sweet and quite powerful drinks – like Old-Fashioneds or Negronis. However, that kind of mixes, especially with light rum, is so rare, probably, because substantially all famous light rum cocktails were invented in places with hot climate so they are sours [which I, personally, prefer primarily in the summertime]. That’s why I am very happy every time if I manage to find something interesting on that score.

The Three Faces Cocktail was found on the CocktailDB several years ago. Actually, the CocktailDB is a very reliable source of worthy drinks, therefore, I suppose, this drink must have a certain reputable origin. Obviously, I made an attempt to investigate some facts about the Three Faces, at least to see what is the earliest time I could find it mentioned anywhere in print. But a solid hour of googling and flipping through a dozen old manuscripts and yet one dozen modern books, especially bibles, from the beginning of the past century up till now, gave me absolutely zero results. It seems like an absolutely rare cocktail with an unclear story.

The construction is something like a disproportioned Negroni – light rum as a base (instead of gin), sweet and herbal Galliano instead of sweet and herbal Italian vermouth, and Campari – the keystone of Negroni, is on the scene too. The name of the cocktail as though alludes to an authentic lineup. Three faces – one is Giuseppe Galliano, another is Gaspare Campari, and the other, casually anonymously indicated as light rum, is, let me speculate, … Focundo Bacardi!? 8)

The Three Faces Cocktail |

Three Faces

30 ml light rum
30 ml Galliano
15 ml Campari
splash of soda [optional]
Pour liquors in a rocks glass filled with ice cubes. Stir and add a splash of soda then garnish with an orange peel.

In practice, I prepare this cocktail by stirring instead of building. Also I reduce a splash of soda since in the fall I am, as a rule, hydrated enough ;)

In spite of the fact that all the ingredients are (or even seem) branded liquor, there is room for several mixology experiments. First of all, it seems a perfect opportunity to play with two different versions of Galliano liqueur – Vanilla and l’Authentico. And, in any case, this is a chance to try some different stuffs that are called “light rum” [and also clarify the difference from a white one].

While I was at work on this cocktail I suddenly remembered that I had tasted this cocktail some years ago. I also found a diary note about making its acquaintance – at that moment I had mixed Three Faces with a certain white rum (it seems, it was Cuban Havana Club Anejo Blanco, my favorite light rum at that time) and Galliano Vanilla (old) liqueur. I’m pretty certain that I liked the drink, otherwise I wouldn’t have taken its pictures. But, it seems, I didn’t like it enough for blogging about.

The Three Faces Cocktail |

This time a first cocktail I mixed was with Campari, Galliano l’Authentico and Bacardi Superior. It is an excellent drink! It was clear from the first sip – it is a terrific use of Galliano l’Authentico liqueur. Its compose botanical nose and a palate with a preponderant anise note complete this sophisticated digestif perfectly. You don’t need more than a couple of sips to realize that Galliano l’Authentico is a base spirit of this drink, as light rum isn’t more than a diluent. The main play goes between two distinctive Italian liquors, and I should admit it, their powerful tastes combine wonderfully here. Rum plays a supporting role – it fittingly dilutes and balances the mix. Perhaps rum does bring certain sweet rum-y notes, but it’s not so easy here.

However Galliano Vanilla can’t stand up to Galliano l’Authentico in this cocktail. This version of Galliano looks too simple in the face of the authentic brother. Obviously Vanilla isn’t able to effect so voluptuously as l’Authentico. By the way, it is the first time than I’ve been so satisfied with new old Galliano l’Authentico [as opposed to in Golden Cadillac, but this is another story]. It seems like exceptionally worthy stuff.

Rum contest was relatively short at this time. As a matter of fact Bacardi rum [I used not common Bacardi Superior but Bacardi Superior Heritage Limited Edition 44,1% – the anniversary edition of the famous rum. Posh, expensive and undoubtedly recognizable.]… so, the rum worked pretty nice even in my first drink, but I decided to try something, you now, a little bit more flavorful in the drink. So I tasted several light rums of the Spanish tradition such as Matusalem Platino, Havana Club Anejo Blanco and 3 y.o. The first two rums give absolutely splendid cocktails but the other brings some odd notes that in fact ruins the drink [this also demonstrates the difference between light and white rums, by the way. All is not light that white, folks!]. Consequently, I refused tasting even more heavy rums in this cocktail.

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→ 9 CommentsTags: Campari · Galliano · Rum

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