I could hear it coming, rustling softly through the coffee trees, stirring the monkeypods, and sighing through the sugar cane.
For no reason besides my own creative enjoyment I am developing a set of Hawaiian-themed cocktails.
From the start I knew that one of my Hawaiian cocktails was going feature coffee, and it didn’t take long to settle on the other components, all classic Hawaiian flavours that pair well with java: dark rum, macadamia nut, and orange.
Kona is a city and region on the western, leeward side of the big island. For many it has the perfect weather: warm days, cool nights, infrequent rains, and a nearly constant, gentle breeze. There is a lengthy description of Kona’s balmy … Continue reading.
How to Incorporate the Eggs. There are several different ways to put the “egg” into “eggnog.” For a few years I used this method:
- whisk egg yolks with some sugar until pale and foamy
- whisk egg whites with some sugar until soft peaks form
- fold the two egg foams together and stir into milk and cream
- add rum and nutmeg
The problem with this method, first of all, is that if it sits for even five minutes, the eggy foams separate from the milk and cream. I wouldn’t mind a bit of head on the nog, but the foams make up about 90% of the volume. Even during the brief moments in which all the ingredients are properly incorporated, … Continue reading.
I know I already posted today, but I wanted to quickly tell you about some cutting-edge developments in the composition and aging of the 2012 fruitcake.
Hazelnuts lose their spot to almonds. For three years now my fruitcake has been poundcake flavoured with orange zest, garnished with glacé Evans cherries, candied Navel orange peel, and roasted hazelnuts. The cherries are the star. They bring loads of flavour, acidity to balance the buttery luxury of the cake, plus they’re from Lisa’s dad’s backyard.
Working with Evans cherries over the past couple years, we’ve noticed that their aroma has a distinct note of almond extract. For some reason this aroma is especially evident in the single-varietal rumpots we’ve made. This … Continue reading.
Yard of flannel is hot ale, laced with rum and spices, and thickened with egg.
Though there’s a surprising number of beer and cocktail blogs that have tried out old recipes of yard of flannel, there’s very little information on the history of this drink available online.
I’ve found no documented link between these two drinks, but yard of flannel is nearly identical in recipe and preparation to an old Scots cocktail called het pint (literally “hot pint”). The only difference is that the Scots version typically uses whiskey instead of rum.
Het pint was once an important part of Scottish celebrations, especially Hogmanay, the Scots New Year. In the 17th and 18th centuries, public houses made het pint on … Continue reading.
The waiting is the hardest part.
-Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
I used to revile fruitcake, but in recent years a description by Jeffrey Steingarten has made me more receptive to the dish.
…full of dark, saturated medieval tastes and colors… aged for a year and then set aflame at the very last minute, carefully spooned out like the treasure it is…
I became mildly interested in the idea of aging baked goods, but I still regarded fruitcake as a gaudy curiosity. Then I came across fruitcake in the memoirs of a woman who grew up during the depression in Northern Ontario, called On Turnips, Teas, and Threshing Bees. Her description of fruitcake, and the lengths her family … Continue reading.
Rumtopf, literally “rum pot”, is a traditional German fruit preserve. As each type of fruit comes into season, it is macerated with sugar, placed in the pot, then covered with rum. Traditional rumtopfen are earthenware pots with heavy lids, but any wide-mouthed, non-reactive vessel can be used.
I use about one part sugar to two parts fruit, by weight, for each addition.
Once the last layer of fruit is added, the mixture steeps for a few months, and is traditionally eaten around Christmas.
The mixture goes through some profound transformations during aging. It loses the striking vibrancy seen above and turns a uniform burgundy. The liquor loses its clarity and becomes murky, with an exceptionally rich mouthfeel, verging on … Continue reading.