VSAFC

Thirsty Thursday: Straits Sling

I am trying to make every cocktail in Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. This Thirsty Thursday is another episode in that project.

I am a bit of an I-word by nature. And by I-word, I mean introvert. And also a little bit of a hermit. I like being at home. A week of work (plus sundry dinners with friends, cards after work, etc.) requires a large amount of the social energy I possess. So I like to spend a lot of my weekend lounging around my house. I’ve lately been hosting hardcore, all-day Veronica Mars marathons. And by hosting, I mean me and the furry roommates I tend.

Anyway … we finally had beautiful weather this weekend and we happened to run out of gin. So I thwarted my hermit-y, interovert nature and headed out for a nice walk to get another bottle. And I finally added a bottle of Cherry Heering to the bar. The Straits Sling calls for kirschwasser, but that’s something I’ve not been able to find a bottle I like, so I went with the Cherry Heering. It also calls for the juice of half a lemon. That’s a measurement I’m never comfortable with – are we talking about half a pre-Prohibition lemon, or are we talking about a modern Godzilla-sized lemon? I think I ended up with about 3/4 oz. of lemon juice in mine.

This is a drink I’d like to welcome the first nice days of the year with every year. It’s got nice cherry flavor without being especially fruity, nor particularly sweet; but it is cherry, herbal, sparkly, drinkable in multiples. (The second one is for Dan.)

Cheers!

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Thirsty Thursday: Milk Punch

I’ve been trying to make every cocktail in Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails (see the cocktails I’ve already made here) – partly because it’s an unusually well-curated cocktail book, and partly because it’s written so well, with a little history of each cocktail and notes on the recipe. I’ve actually read it cover to cover.

When Girl Scout cookies come around every year, I order shortbreads. Always. 2 boxes. I love those damn shortbreads. So it seemed like a good time to try out Milk Punch – Milk Punch and cookies.

Generally speaking, the idea of milk or cream cocktails sounds really gross to me. I could blame my lack of naturally-occurring lactase for that, but I felt that way before my body quit making lactase, too.

But this milk cocktail is surprisingly tasty. Milk, dark rum, brandy, simple syrup, a touch of nutmeg … it’s one of the few things brightening the last bleak, frigid days of winter.

The Milk Punch recipe in Haigh’s book is heavy on the milk – 4 ounces. I also own The PDT Cocktail Book, and Jim Meehan’s recipe calls for just 1.5 ounces, and bumps up the rum & simple syrup a bit. I like Haigh’s addition of a few drops of vanilla, and the lighter milk portion and higher rum content of Meehan’s. Haigh calls for serving over crushed ice; Meehan over one large cube.

Since the two couldn’t quite agree, I pieced the two recipes together and came up with this compromise that doesn’t taste like a compromise:

2 oz. whole milk
1 oz. brandy
1 oz. dark rum
3/4 oz. simple syrup
a few drops of vanilla extract

Shake well with ice. Strain into glass with one ice cube. Sprinkle a little nutmeg on top. Enjoy with a few* Girl Scout cookies.

Cheers!

* They package them in the sleeves because that is one serving, right?