Saturday, September 3, 2011

Exhibit #74: Arrack Punch and more Carpano

O'Doherty's Arrack Punch $6
Water, Batavia Arrack, lesser amounts of Barbancourt 8 year and Smith & Cross rums, lime juice, demerara syrup, and freshly grated nutmeg. Like many punches, it packs a wallop. This recipe was first published in 1824 in Blackwood's magazine by William Maginn in his recurring "Maxims of O'Doherty" feature. It features Batavian Arrack, most easily conceived as Indonesian rum, which in many ways was the impetus behind the creation of punch itself. Although the bottling we will use is quite smooth in comparison, the native spirit was often raw, leading 17th century Dutch and British traders and sailors to tame it with lemon, sugar and water - and sometimes spice. Two centuries on, this particular recipe doesn't change that early paradigm much, although it augments the arrack with rum and feels geared toward a faster-moving crowd as it is quite easily prepared. While early punch-makers were often suspicious of the lime, viewing it as a lesser, possibly noxious lemon, this recipe states no preference, so we have opted for the latter for a bit of novelty.

We are still in love with Carpano Antica, the original Italian vermouth - so more drinks, and a few repeats:

Bulleit Rye & Carpano Manhattan $9.50
We've tried several dozen combinations of whiskeys and vermouths in the eternal quest for the ultimate Manhattan, and this one just might be it. Served on the rocks with orange bitters and a twist, or up on request.

Fanciulli Cocktail $10
Let's have at it again... Bulleit Rye, Fernet Branca, Carpano Antica, served neat. Fireworks!

Montauk Cocktail $8
From the old Waldorf-Astoria and apparently named for some high rollers who dreamed of making Montauk, NY into a major passenger seaport. Dry gin, Dolin dry vermouth, Carpano Antica, Peychaud's bitters, up.

Negroni $7
So what, a Negroni, you say? We make 'em all the time anyway. But this one has the magic of Carpano! Though most commonly served up in modern times, because the drink was a variation on an iced drink, the Americano (Campari, red vermouth, soda), it was originally served on the rocks. Dry gin, Campari, Carpano, orange twist, ice.

Palmetto Cocktail $8
Another Old Waldorf creation: Mt. Gay Eclipse rum, Carpano, orange bitters, up. Golden rum plays well here, though I will admit the recipe needed a bit of drying (we will serve 2 parts rum to 1 vermouth instead of equal parts).

Vieux Carre $10
An old New Orleans favorite that we always come back to. We haven't had it with Bulleit Rye yet, so now's the time, yes? Camus VS cognac, Bulleit Rye, Carpano, Benedictine, Angostura and Peychaud's bitters, on the rocks. We're pouring it heavier on the cognac than the rye, a la Dale DeGroff, since Bulleit has no trouble holding its own in any streetfight.

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