Saturday, December 1, 2012

Exhibit #124: San Francisco Favorites via Trader Vic, 1968

Tonight’s menu comes from Trader Vic’s Pacific Island Cookbook, published in 1968. Although its focus is on food, there is an interesting chapter of drinks and punches at the end of the book. These particular drinks are from the first (and non-tropical) section of that chapter and we’re including all but two recipes – one for a Rusty Nail and the other a Mooley Cow (vodka, crème de cacao, milk).

Vic introduces them thusly:
“Since the Gold Rush days San Francisco has been known as a city of two-fisted drinkers. Martinis, hiballs, and scotch on the rocks outsell anything else, but quite a few discerning people like something that tastes good. Here are a few of the favorites.”

Jackalope $7
Buffalo Trace bourbon, lemon juice, and sugar, up. But here’s the interesting part: the ingredients are combined in advance at punch scale, then refrigerated overnight along with the spent lemon shells. The next day, portions are measured out and shaken up. You may have heard of this drink, but these days it is most commonly made with dark rum, Kahlua, cacao, amaretto, and pineapple… clearly no relation whatsoever.

Port Light $10
Starboard Light $10

Whisk(e)y, lemon juice, honey, passion fruit syrup, egg white, crushed ice, mint. The Port Light employs bourbon (Bulleit), while Starboard uses scotch (Johnnie Walker Black). “Dedicated to the Sunday sailors of San Francisco Bay.”

Rhum Cosmo $8
Rhum Barbancourt 8yr, pineapple and lime juices, crushed ice, mint. No relation to what we know today as a Cosmo – that one hails from 1980s Miami.

Silver Stallion $12
A variation on the Ramos Gin Fizz - equal parts gin and vanilla ice cream, lemon juice, egg white, crushed ice, club soda, grated nutmeg and orange peel. “Every guy thinks he has the one and only gin fizz recipe, but this old-timer is way out in front of anything made with gin that I’ve ever tasted. Good for Sunday morning get-togethers.”

Velvet Hammer $6
It just wouldn’t be Sunday if there weren’t at least one truly off-putting drink on the menu: equal parts crème de cacao and Cointreau shaken up with evaporated milk, served up.

White Witch $7
Light rum, Cointreau, crème de cacao, lime juice, crushed ice, club soda, sugar-dusted mint. “This is a pretty drink for the girls. Not too strong but it has authority.”

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