Sunday, December 6, 2009

knickerbocker

1/2 Lime or Lemon (Lime)
1 wineglass Santa Cruz Rum (2 oz Flor de Caña 4 Year Gold)
2 tsp Raspberry Syrup (Homemade, see recipe below)
1/2 tsp Curaçao (Curaçao de Curaçao)

Squeeze juice out of lime half and drop the lime shell into a 6-8 oz tumbler glass filled with crushed ice. Either build drink in glass and shake, or shake drink separately with ice, and strain over crushed ice. Garnish with berries of the season.

On Saturday night when we got home, we decided to combine a nightcap with crossing off one more drink from the Anvil's 100 Drink list. I chose the Knickerbocker from the list's remainders since I had made up a batch of raspberry syrup earlier in the day using frozen raspberries. The recipe is a modification of one I found in the New York Times:
Raspberry Syrup
• 1 cup Raspberries
• 1 tbsp Sugar
Combine ingredients in a sauce pan and cook over a medium flame for 5 minutes. Stir constantly and use back of spoon to break up berries.
• 3/4 cup Water
• 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
Add second batch of ingredients, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool. Strain through tea towel or cheesecloth, and squeeze out remaining liquid until only solids remain in the cloth. Give the sauce pan a quick rinse with water, and pour in the strained berry juice.
• 1 1/3 cup Sugar
Add an equal portion of sugar to make a 1:1 berry simple syrup. Heat while stirring for 2 minutes until all sugar has dissolved. Let cool, skim off any foam, and bottle.
• 1 oz Vodka
Optional addition to help preserve the syrup from microbial growth; add and mix by inverting to bring the ABV to ~5%. Either way, store covered in refrigerator. Makes a little under 2 cups.
Finding the appropriate recipe for the Knickerbocker given Huegel's description of "rum, raspberry syrup, curaçao, and lime" was more difficult than I imagined. Most of the recipes in the dozen or so books I opened were for either lemon juice or lemon plus orange juice, not lime. It was not until I opened Ted Haigh's book which pointed me to Jerry Thomas' 1862 How to Mix Drinks, or The Bon-vivant's Companion did I find the one that I followed. At that point, I decided to check on what David Wondrich had to say in Imbibe! about Jerry Thomas' recipe. Wondrich recommended the lime option which is unusual since history has seemed to have picked the lemon one as the winner. Wondrich also suggested increasing the curaçao (to upwards of 1 oz) if one is seeking a sweeter drink instead of increasing the raspberry syrup. And lastly, Wondrich recommended against shaking the drink with the lime shell as doing so would impart bitter notes from the lime oils.
We opted against increasing the sweetness of our drinks, and the balance turned out on the tart but not unpleasantly so side. Perhaps it had to do with our larger limes which yielded almost an ounce and a half total of juice (most limes yield about an ounce, and in 1862, probably a bit less than that) but the drink was still very enjoyable to drink that way. I could understand why Wondrich preferred the lime option for the raspberry-lime is a classic flavor combination. The rum flavor was a bit subtle under the fruit notes, and the rum heat was apparent but not uncomfortably so on the swallow. The drink was rather refreshing and was in essence the short drink version of a Rum Rickey.

1 comment:

Adam said...

Try subbing 1 oz of calvados for 1 oz of the rum... Really nice twist (IMO).