Thursday, June 2, 2011

madeira (or sherry) cup

1 bottle Madeira or Sherry (6 oz Blandy's 5 Year Old Verdelho Madeira)
1 wineglass Orange Brandy (1/2 oz Grand Marnier)
1/2 Lemon Peel (1/8)
2 bottle Soda Water (6 oz)
Sugar to Taste (1/2 oz Simple Syrup)
A few sprigs Borage, Woodruff, or Balm, or half rind of small Cucumber (1/8 Cucumber Rind)
A few slices of lemon (2)

Mix all but soda water in a jug and immerse in ice for an hour to steep. Strain and add soda water. The original recipe makes around 8 servings; scaled down version makes around 2.

Before making the Horse Tonic, I started on the Madeira (or Sherry) Cup from the 1871 Gentleman's Table Guide as the recipe required a bit of steeping time. While we are big fans of sherry, I opted for Madeira since there are fewer reasons in the historical literature to mix with it and modern bartenders have not warmed up to it yet like they have sherry. I was also drawn to the Cup by the cucumber rind which imparts a very pleasing flavor to drinks such as in the Tea Julep; moreover, it is often more readily available than the borage, woodruff, or balm options in the recipe.
The cucumber definitely provided an aromatic element to the drink and Andrea noted the orange from the Grand Marnier as well. In addition, the cucumber provided an herbal element to the crisp, carbonated sip. Finally, the swallow contained the Madeira flavors along with lingering cucumber and lemon peel notes. Overall, the Madeira Cup was light, refreshing, yet flavorful like the other recipes we have tried in the Gentleman's Table Guide such as the National Rifle Cup.


Rowen said...

This looks really elegant. I’ll have to play with it on a day when there’s someone besides the housemate to make it for. (Poor man can’t stand cucumber.)

frederic said...

You should be able to find borage at a good farmer's market if cucumber isn't an option. I know that we grew it many years ago and the stuff is pretty hardy. People seem to love it in Pimm's Cups too. I think balm is around but no clue about woodruff.