Thursday, September 16, 2010

puritan's punch

1 1/2 oz Berkshire Mountain Distiller's Ragged Mountain Rum
3/4 oz Spiced Honey Syrup (*)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

(*) Spiced Honey Syrup: Muddle 14 cardamom pods and 5 cinnamon sticks. Combine with 5/8 cup finely chopped ginger, 32 oz clover honey, and 32 oz water water (5 fold scale down: 3 cardamom pods, 1 stick cinnamon, 1 oz ginger, 6 oz honey, 6 oz water) in a sauce pan. Bring to just under a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes with frequent stirring. Let cool, strain through cheesecloth, and bottle.

The second dish at Lineage's "Endless Summer" cocktail-paired dinner was a combination of heirloom tomatoes from Ellery Kimball's farm, Island Creek Oysters, cucumber, and daikon. I cannot tell you about the oysters for I got a saladized version, but Andrea and the other diners seemed to enjoy them. Kevin Martin of Eastern Standard matched this dish with his drink, the Persil, using Berkshire Mountain Distiller's Ice Glen Vodka. With a name like Persil -- the French for parsley -- we knew Kevin was going to take an herbal route. He matched the vegetable aspect by using fresh tomato water and the oyster aspect (I assume) by lemon juice, Tabasco, and salt.
The Persil
• 1 1/2 oz Berkshire Mountain Distiller's Ice Glen Vodka
• 3/4 oz Heirloom Tomato Water
• 3/4 oz Parsley & Tabasco Syrup
• 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
• 1 pinch Salt
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
In essence, Kevin created a Bloodless Mary. While I cannot say how it paired with the shellfish aspect of the dish, it was an enjoyable savory cocktail in its own right. My notes say that it "smelled like a garden (in a good way)." Recipes for how to make tomato water exist, but you are on your own in figuring out the proportions of the parsley and Tabasco syrup.

The third course starred Bobby McCoy of the upcoming Island Creek Oyster Bar, and it was no surprised that he picked Berkshire's rum (although he surprised me with his gin drink at the Bartenders on the Rise event in March). Bobby paired this drink with a tea-cured duck breast, Cortland apple, baby turnip, and cilantro dish, but I can only speak of how well it went with the cavatelli (when the waitress asked if this substitution was okay, I enthusiastically said yes, since I have greatly enjoyed Lineage's pan-fried cavatelli before).
The Puritan's Punch was essentially a spiced Honeybee (rum, lemon, honey akin to the gin-based Bee's Knees). The punch's nose was a delightful nutmeg and honey aroma. Next, the sip had a grandly rich mouthfeel from the honey and was not overly sweet due to the drying effects of the lemon juice. Finally, rum and spices were notable on the swallow to round out the drink.

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