Friday, August 12, 2011


1 1/2 oz Batavia Arrack
1 oz Velvet Falernum
3/4 oz Smith & Cross Rum
1/2 oz Dubonnet Rouge
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and double strain into an Old Fashioned glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Last Saturday, we decided to make the Privateer that I found on Gary Regan's newsletter. The drink was created by Mattias Hagglund of the Elements Restaurant in Princeton, New Jersey. At first I was a little taken aback by the recipe since every ingredient in the large drink, save for the lime juice, nutmeg, and ice, is boozy if not overproof. However, the lure of the Batavia Arrack and Smith & Cross Rum drew me in, and we had all day on Sunday to recover from it need be. Mattias wrote on his bar's blog that the Privateer is, "strong complex and assertive, and has a very old world feel to it (to me anyway). Apparently others are liking it as well- the bar's been going through more Arrack than ever before." Amusingly, his instructions after the nutmeg garnish read, "Sip, close eyes. Contemplate destroying an armada."
The nutmeg garnish contributed greatly to the drink's nose. On the sip, the lime, the Dubonnet's grape, falernum's ginger, and Smith & Cross' caramel notes shone through. Next, the swallow presented the Batavia Arrack and rum's funkiness, the falernum's clove, and the Angostura's spice. Indeed, the drink was pretty potent, but as the ice melted, the proof decreased; interestingly, the Batavia Arrack flavor stayed prominent as the other flavors were diluted away with the ice melt. Given the flavorfulness of the other components, if one lacked Dubonnet, then Punt e Mes, Carpano Antico, or another sweet vermouth could probably substitute quite well in its place. Overall, Mattias' description was right on, and while I did exaggerate about needing Sunday to recover, the recipe is almost up there with the Zombie in strength.

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