Thursday, November 11, 2010

hot jersey shrub

1 oz Applejack (Laird's Bonded)
Juice 1 Lime (1/2 oz)
1 tsp Raspberry Syrup (Homemade)

Add to a small hot drink glass (4 oz) and top with 2 oz of boiling water. Mix with a spoon, and garnish with a "slice lemon twist" (round slice of lemon).

On Friday night as I was making dinner, we were in the mood for something warm to take the evening's chill off. Since Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 is a repository of quirky drinks both hot and cold, I found my answer there -- the Hot Jersey Shrub (it was just listed as "Jersey (Hot)" under the Shrubs category, so the drink name parsing is mine). The Jersey part of the name most likely refers to the apple spirit base of the drink. Besides most of the applejack in this country being made in New Jersey, the state was known for using the spirit (a/k/a "Jersey Lightning") as currency to pay for road construction during colonial times. The book defined a Shrub as "same as a Sangaree only a round slice of lemon in glass" and a hot Sangaree as sugar, liquor, and hot water. A mere garnish separated the two by their somewhat unique definitions.
The Hot Jersey Shrub's aroma was fruity with the raspberry aroma standing out the most; moreover, the heat volatilized the apple brandy's alcohol base so that it played a noticeable role on the nose. The classic raspberry-lime pairing worked well on the sip as it does in the Double Standard. Moreover, this slightly tart sip was complemented by the aged apple brandy notes on the swallow. Perhaps a teaspoon of simple syrup in addition to the raspberry syrup might put the sweetness balance in tune with more modern sensibilities without changing the flavor ratios.

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