You know what might be good? Fino sherry and dry vermouth syrups- has anyone tried them? Perhaps that will be a project for another day.
Anyway, I made a cocktail using a wintery mulled beer syrup from Nick's Cove Restaurant, Oyster Bar & Cottages on Tomales Bay near San Francisco. Their Manhattan is simply bourbon, oatmeal stout syrup, and Angostura bitters.
Let's say you're a drink nerd who has the flu. You want to work mezcal into your schedule but how can you justify it when you're sweating through your sheets and spending all day watching soap operas?
Houston Eaves, of Esquire Tavern in San Antonio, has the answer. In my lastest FineCooking.com recipe post I list his recipe for the Espadin Tea. It's a lot like a Hot Toddy using tea and Licor 43 as a sweetener.
The drink calls for mezcal (I'm sure whisky would also work), lemon, Licor 43, and hot tea.
Go get the recipe at FineCooking and make yourelf feel better.
In my latest column for FineCooking.com, I talk about how the Ward Eight cocktail is everywhere these days.
You know how you learn the definition of a word and then suddenly you keep hearing that word everywhere? Over the past month it has been that way with me and the Ward Eight cocktail.
I had just finished reading the book Drinking Boston: A History of the City and its Spirits by Stphanie Schorow, in which the author spends a great deal of time discussing this drink and its history. The Ward Eight is the most famous classic cocktail from Boston, supposedly invented at the Locke-Ober restaurant in 1898.
In trying to verify the date of the drink's creation, Schorow studies the history of grenadine, the pomegranate syrup used in the drink. It was a new ingredient in America right around this time.
Coincidentally, I was also studying the history of grenadine on my website. I performed a literature review and drew some conclusions, including the surprising finding that grenadine has been made as an artificially flavored cocktail ingredient forover 100 years!
In another coincidence, two of my favorite drink writers also decided to look into the Ward Eight in the January 2013 edition of magazines. Historian David Wondrich took a look at the cocktail's history in Imbibe magazine, and writer Wayne Curtis covered the drink in searching for the quintessential New England cocktail in Yankee magazine.
I went to look up a recipe to put on the post on Fine Cooking, and found that the Ward Eight recipe is different in nearly every book.
The simplest is just rye, grenadine, and lemon juice. The most complex is those ingredients plus mint, bitters, and simple syrup.
So I settled on a common recipe with rye, grenadine, lemon, and orange juice. Get the recipe here.
Thinking of a clever name for an alcoholic Shirley Temple isn't easy. Shirley Tempest, Shirley Temptress, Dirty Shirley, Shirley Temple of Doom - they're all taken, and most of the recipes are for vodka, Sprite, and grenadine. Thanks, but no.
Well, I have a different recipe. The typical Shirley Temple is ginger ale and grenadine, but I wanted to use PAMA pomegranate liqueur and booze is up a little more.
Instead of typical non-alcoholic ginger beer, I wanted to use real ginger beer. Everything on the US market that I know about is non-alcoholic except the newish Crabbie's, which is imported from Scotland. I'm not sure it's what we'd really call ginger beer, as it is a "malt beverage with natural flavors and caramel color added." But I've got more research to do on that.
4 ounces or so of Alcoholic Ginger Beer 1 ounce PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur .75 ounces Larceny Bourbon 2 dashes Orange Bitters
Build over ice in a Collins glass.
And you know what's also pretty good? a Roy Rogers with PAMA and Q Kola.
For the month of December I'll be looking at the pomegranate and its use in cocktails, including in grenadine and in PAMA pomegranate liqueur, the sponsor of the project. Check out the information developed just for bartenders at PamaPros.com.
Camper English is a cocktails and spirits writer for publications including Saveur (Contributing Drinks Editor), FSR Magazine (Spirits Editor), Whisky Advocate, Details.com, PopSci.com, Mixology, Drinks International, and many more. Learn about Camper and Alcademics, or read clips of his published work.