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Monday, May 21, 2012

Steamdrunks: The Drunken Earl

Trust this man to feed you drinks.
He won't tie you to train tracks. I promise.
I present to you today a post written by my good friend Oz, who you may remember from the Halcyon days of the State Dinner at the Dolmabaçe. He's been in exile for a while, toiling out of state, and so while we haven't been able to cook together for a while (the last time was in December...) we have conversed extensively about many things. Drinks, of course, are one of our many shared enthusiasms, and so this man–this wonderful man—has provided us with the following:

“We simply contend that a relish for 'social drinks’ is universal;... and that he, therefore, who proposes to impart to these drinks not only the most palatable but the most wholesome characteristics of which they may be made susceptible, is a genuine public benefactor.”
~Jerry Thomas, Bartenders Guide: How to Mix Drinks: Receipts for Mixing All Kinds of Punch, Egg Nog, Juleps, Smashs, Cobblers, Cocktails, Sangarees, Mulls, Toddies, Slings, Sours, Flips, and 200 other Fancy Drinks (1862)

This story starts, as so many often do, with a lady.
“What if you made a cocktail with tea-infused simple syrups?” the lady asked, innocently.
“Ooh... wouldn’t be that hard to do... but what would you make?” I pondered.
And like that I had been nerdsniped into the fascinating concept of Steampunk Cocktails.
Being of strong similarity of mind to this blog’s illustrious maître d’, I took a similar approach to the exploration of “Steampunk” cocktails: A mixation and exploration of modern techniques, and classic modalities and recipes.
The history of the cocktail is well beyond the scope of any one blog post, suffice it to say that mixing liquor with other flavorants is a time-honoured and long-standing tradition. Indeed, the art earned itself an “-ology”.

Today, though, I submit for your imbibing pleasure, a humble entry into the halls of Steampunk Cocktail lore:


The Drunken Earl
1.5 oz Rye Whiskey
1.5 oz Earl Grey, pre-chilled
2 dashes Orange Bitters
Orange Peel, for garnish

Though many recipes for cocktails follow a rather formulaic 2 parts liquor : 1 part flavoured liquid : dashes aromatic, I opted to deviate after some experimentation. Whiskey, as I’ve often seen on the faces of my peers, can be rather unpalatable to the uninitiated palette. Though hardly a failing, it’s something of which I was keenly aware when jiggering the ratios. For a more mellow, subtle mouthfeel, use 3 oz Earl Grey and 1.5 oz Rye Whiskey. For a stronger kick in your morning, use 1.5 oz Rye Whiskey and .75 oz Earl Grey.

To prepare the Drunken Earl:

Fill a 6oz cocktail glass with ice and set aside.
Add about 2 cups of ice to a cocktail shaker, to which add 1.5 oz Rye Whiskey, 1.5 oz Earl Grey, and 2 dashes of orange bitters.
Shake vigorously until all the icy power of the Arctic bears itself through the metal.
Discard the ice in your cocktail glass, and strain the contents of your shaker into said glass.
Rub the rim of the glass with the peel from an orange, and garnish with the orange peel.
Present for the enjoyment of the imbiber.

2 comments:

  1. Chilli and soft citrus buns (cupcakes/fairy cakes - but it fits the Yorkshire 'buns' better) to go with - cake is fairly easy to learn to do off the cuff - it's the soft-peak blobby texture of the batter you're looking for; standard recipies use 100g/4oz of butter flour and sugar so it's fairly easy to learn to judge by eye if you're good at that sort of thing - equal-ish quanties of plain flour and sugar there would be greater quantities of flour particularly for standard British tastes if the difference between UK and US bread is anything to go by - but do experiment) -add a teaspoon of dried yeast! I think it tastes better than using baking powder and does work even without the rising time but you can use a tsp of baking powder if you like (Beeton includes a recipe for 'a nice yeast cake'[1898] and baking powder also went into mass production in 1898 by the design of the original Dr. Oetker). So leavening agent added next add butter/spread chopped well visually looks like about 1/4 to 1/3 of the contents of the bowl (it's denser) or if you use oil instead it's a proportional glug as if the flour/sugar were a standard volcano and the oil were the lava (fat is denser than flour and sugar so it shouldn't be equal volume). Add one two or three eggs depending on size of the eggs and the quantity of flour you used - less is probably better - 2 standard eggs is the standard! One duck egg? Never used one but it sounds good. And your chilli powder and peeled separated chopped citrus segments. Although the spices wont distribute as well as if added to the dry ingredients the different bursts of flavour are part of the piece! Use a bit of cow juice to loosen the batter. You need a fair bit of wet to activate the yeast or baking powder. If you forgot to add the leavening agent you can add it to warm water and beat it in at the end: it all needs a good stir and beat and fold into a coherent batter with all the flour gone in - though not overdoing it is ok as well! Add to cases in a bun tin or directly in a greased bun/tartlet tin and bake about 180c for half an hour though check - as soon as it starts to waft a cooked smell and a cooked smell! The baking temp/time is always a bit approximate - I haven't got a handle on that yet confidently! 'A heritage of British Cooking' Black (1977) has a lot of recipes of different victorian (and earlier) buns tarts and bites to go with drinks as well as other staple dishes and puddings - well worth a look! Black writes modern format adapted recipes under copies of period recipes along with notes and evocations of the period. It's a great book book but I have to say I often like the look of the original recipes better! Rout cakes; bread cheesecakes; and curd puffs - probably go well with cocktails or stronger night-caps!

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  2. Fantastic site and article! We recently reviewed SteamDrunks which would definitely compliment your culinary arts! It is a fun little cocktail book not sure if you have read it, but might be worth a read! Cheers and keep up the amazing content! Would love to get you to do a special Gilded Monocle recipe! :D http://wp.me/p2rFnb-sG

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Your opinions and comments always are welcomed, but do be civil... this isn't a kitchen, after all.