Wednesday, November 12, 2008

brandy rum sangaree

1 Sugar Cube
1/2 oz Water
2 oz Brandy (Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac)
1 oz Rum (Barbancourt 8 Year Rhum)
~1/4 oz Red Wine (OG Syrah)
Muddle sugar cube in water. Add ice, stir, and strain into a cocktail glass. Float wine on top.

For my second beverage at Drink, John Gertsen stuck with the brandy theme and kept it even more old school by suggesting a sangaree, a drink that pre-dates the cocktail. Sangarees are something I have read about in many cocktail books in the section after the cocktail, highball, and punch chapters and right before the index, but are a class of drink I have neither made nor had. Some of the older styles of sangarees use port or sherry and add sugar, ice, and a sprinkling of ground nutmeg but later varieties branched out to ale, gin, and brandy. Jerry Thomas' recipe for the brandy sangaree is as follows:
Brandy Sangaree
(Use medium bar-glass.)
Take 1/2 teaspoonful of fine white sugar dissolved in
a little water.
1 wine-glass of brandy.
Fill the glass one-third full of shaved ice, shake up well, strain into a small glass and dash a little Port wine on top. Serve with a little grated nutmeg.
John adapted the recipe by swapping out some of the brandy for rum, using wine instead of port as a float, and omitting the nutmeg entirely. The wine John used was one from the Languedoc region and his float had issues. Regardless of his float technique using the back of a barspoon and a gentle hand pouring a small mixing cup of wine, a good percentage of the wine sank. Not sure what aspect of the densities was off in the drink, but the issue seemed to bother John more than it did me. The brandy rum sangaree tasted very much like a strong punch. Very simple and to the point, the drink was well balanced and did not need to venture into the realm of bitters which would distract from the drinker from its innate beauty.

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