It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … Drinks.

November 28th, 2007 by Colonel Tiki

Ho, Ho Ho! The Snowball is showing up everywhere you go!

Trader Tiki stopped by a few weeks ago and we plowed our way through 2 Christmas bowl drinks, so the Christmas Cocktail Project continues:

English Bishop

English Bishop

2 oranges
Whole Cloves
2 Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks
Brown Sugar
375ml Coruba or other Dark rum
32 oz Unfiltered Apple Juice Nutmeg

P1000106Pierce Oranges with toothpick and insert cloves. Wet oranges and roll in brown sugar to coat. Place oranges in baking dish and roast in a 350° oven until they brown slightly. In a saucepan, add cinnamon sticks (broken) to dark rum and warm. Remove oranges, cut into wedges and add to heat-safe ceramic bowl (large enough for 1 gallon of liquid). Add ½ cup Brown sugar and muddle together with oranges. When Rum begins to vaporize, add rum and cinnamon to orange-sugar mixture. Take the bowl to a fire-safe location and set on fire. At your discretion, put out the fire by pouring in the apple cider. Serve warm in footed glass mugs, dust top with fresh grated nutmeg.

Blair spurred me to make this recipe. I cobbled it together from Jerry Thomas’s book and other online sources. The Smell of this one was amazing: The quick-made Pomanders roasting in the oven produced a gorgeous scent that filled the whole house with Christmas. Setting it on fire was a blast as well.

Feuerzangebowle

Feuerzangenbowle

1 Orange
1 Lemon
1 Bottle Red Table Wine
10 Whole Cloves
10 Allspice Berries
5 Cardamom Pods
2 Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks
375ml Coruba or other Dark Rum
1 Sugar Hat (Zukerhut)

FeuerzangebowleUsing a Channel knife, zest/carve orange and lime into Crockpot on low. Cut Orange and Lemon in wedges and add to pot. Add wine and spices. Let this mixture mull for at least 30 minutes. Before serving, warm rum in saucepan. place tongs on bowl and set sugar hat on tongs. Soak sugar hat with warmed rum and set alight. With a long-handled metal ladle (in a fire-safe location), pour remaining rum over burning sugar to melt into bowl. When the rum and sugar have been added to the bowl, put out the fire and stir. Serve warm in glass footed mugs.

Feuerzangebowle will feature prominently around our annual Christmas Party, which is themed on the peculiar Germanic Christmas icon “Der Krampus.” It’s called “Gruss vom Krampus” and this is the fourth annual celebration. If you’re in the Portland area the weekend of December 7-9th, drop me a line and I’ll shoot you an evite.

-=C

Cassia vs. Cinnamon and Donn the Beachcomber

November 6th, 2007 by Colonel Tiki

At some point, in North America (at least the U.S.A. and Canada), Cinnamon was replaced by its much less expensive cousin, Cassia. The taste, while similar enough for many uses, is definitely noninterchangeable for most cocktail recipes. The trick is to know which to use and when to use it.

Cassia
Cassia (Cinnamomum Cassia) is thick and red-brown in color and is what you’ll most likely get when you purchase cinnamon in a regular grocery store. The flavor is strong, sharp and hot. It is a perfect choice for baking or where you only want to taste only Cinnamon. However, it will quickly overpower any balanced drink when you use it in syrup (or purchase Cinnamon syrup made with Cassia).

Ceylon

Ceylon or ‘true’ Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) is light brown and has the consistency of paper. It will easily give and break apart in your hand. The flavor has essences of citrus and is mellow, warm. It shines in chocolate, mulling, and especially in your mixed drinks. This is the Cinnamon you’ll want for making or purchasing syrup. You can find it cheaper in the Mexican food section of your market labeled as “Canela.” I get mine from Penzey’s.

When making the Donga Punch from Sippin’ Safari, I decided to perform an experiment. I mixed one drink using the Cassia syrup, and the other with Ceylon Cinnamon. The Cassia version tasted exceedingly of the sharp, spicy notes I love in a Cinnamon roll. The drink, however, was unbalanced. I did manage to finish it. The Donga containing Ceylon Cinnamon was properly balanced and delicious. The Ceylon supported the flavor profile, enhanced the rum, and contrasted nicely with the Grapefruit. In the other version, the grapefruit flavor was lost to the overbearing zing of Cassia.

Further experiments at Blair’s Galley with the Nui Nui bore the same results. Donn drinks seem to call for Ceylon Cinnamon, not Cassia. It makes me wonder: Did Cassia replace Cinnamon in common domestic use after the creation of these classic Tiki drinks? Did Ray Buhen and Donn’s other boys use only true Cinnamon, coming from a cuisine and culture that did not conflate the two? Bears research I say.

Not to say that Cassia has no role in drink making. I still add it (very carefully) to hot rum batter (with as much care as I would cloves, the other flavor killer in high doses), Coffee Grog (not the batter, pinch-wise while making the drink), and for light toppings of other hot drinks when I think the recipe calls for a light smack of the ‘heavy stuff.’

I’m just happy I’ve made a discovery that has improved my mixology, and I hope I pass it on to you and yours.

Cheers!

-=C

Xmas Drink #1: The Snowball

October 2nd, 2007 by Colonel Tiki

The Snowball is a highball of Advocaat and lemon-lime soda, sometimes with a splash of lemon and/or lime juice.

Snowball

1½ oz. Advocaat
3 oz. Lemon-Lime soda
Splash Lemon and/or Lime juice

Add cubed ice to a highball or double rocks glass. Add Advocaat, citrus, and top with lemon-lime soda. Stir carefully to mix. Garnish with lemon wheel.

——

I need to get some Advocaat, which is made from egg yolks, brandy, and vanilla. Heather used to call it “egg nog liqueur,” which isn’t that far from the truth. I’m guessing it will be a dandy base for any number of creamy Christmas bevvies. I’m guessing Ginger snaps, Egg Nog variations, nutty drinks, &c. There is a Mexican cousin of Advocaat that goes by the name of Rompope.