Featured

Categories

Egg Nog

Egg NogFor several years running we have resisted making egg nog after we read about a process that includes aging. This possibly ill-conceived idea starts with a basic egg, dairy and brandy recipe that accompanies an understanding that the alcohol will fortify the mixture and protect it from going bad during the weeks or months it is allowed to age. Although we have seen other references to aged egg nog, we never completely understood why aging is even necessary. Do eggs and dairy improve with time? Certainly, flavors can develop as ingredients are allowed to combine, but aging a homemade recipe with raw eggs and milk doesn't sound very appealing. Such a notion seems borrowed from the 1988 sci-fi film Alien Nation in which Newcomer Sam Francisco (a humanoid extra-terrestrial played by Mandy Patinkin) guzzles past-due cartons of sour milk as though it were fine wine, checking the sell-by-date and proclaiming it "a very good week."

Whether or not aged egg nog is historically significant, it's certainly novel. But novelty is not our goal. We are after good flavor and appropriate technique needed to obtain it. If we need to age the recipe for it to taste good we will, but we have never been big fans of whole egg cocktails (usually called flips) and we have only just tolerated sips of grocery store egg nog over the years. Some would say that store-bought egg nog isn't the real thing. Who are we to argue? With limited experience we decided it was time to find out for ourselves.

Fortunately, we don't have to look very far for a decent recipe. Portland's own Jeffery Moregenthaler features a tequila-based nog on the menu at Clyde Common, but we wanted to take a more traditional route. His blog had the answer. Lo and behold—it doesn't require aging!

Egg Nog by Jeffrey Morgenthaler
2 large eggs
3 oz (by volume) granulated sugar
.5 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
2 oz brandy
2 oz spiced rum
6 oz whole milk
4 oz heavy cream

Beat eggs in a basic blender for one minute on medium speed (or pulse commercial blenders at the lowest setting for a few moments to thoroughly mix the ingredients). Slowly add sugar and blend for one additional minute (again, don't over do it with commercial blenders). With blender still running (or not, depending on your equipment), add nutmeg, brandy, rum, milk and cream until combined. Chill thoroughly to allow flavors to combine. Serve in wine glasses or coupes. Garnish with fresh grated nutmeg.

Louis Royer CognacWe used Louis Royer Force 53 VSOP Cognac to make our nog, and we are glad we did. Good ingredients always contribute to better results. For the spiced rum, we followed Jeffrey's recipe and used Sailor Jerry's, but you could probably use another brand. We have a powerful blender capable of cooking soup with friction from the blades. Depending on your situation, be sure to avoid over mixing the ingredients. You want everything to be mixed thoroughly, but not to the point of cooking the eggs! Despite forgoing extended aging, you still need to chill the mixture and allow the flavors to combine. A few hours in the refrigerator ought to do it.

This recipe fits nicely into a mason jar and is enough for four people to enjoy a cup, or two people to have seconds. It's a perfect amount for a wonderful after dinner drink, but for a big party you will want to make more. It's not too thick and not watered down. It's also delicious—a far cry from the grocery store stuff. Take some effort to add a little freshly grated nutmeg on top and you'll have the makings of a fantastic dessert or a classic cocktail that exceeds the expectations of holiday tradition. We have to admit that this recipe may have changed our minds about flips in general and has definitely transformed our opinion about egg nog. We look forward to adding it to the winter repertoire!

Drink with No Name: The Harrington

IMG_0422

This drink started life in the 1990s without a name. It was originally created by internet blogging pioneer and Wired Magazine's online cocktail writer, Paul Harrington. Back then, Paul went by the nickname the Alchemist and described this drink on the site as an unnamed recipe that can reveal someone's ability to appreciate intense flavor—a description that is rather surprising considering the fact that vodka is flavor-neutral. Of course, he wasn't referring to the base spirit in this cocktail. The intensity comes from the strong, herbal melange in Chartreuse which can be quite a shock to first-timers. Even in small proportions, Chartreuse can easily take over a recipe, but with good vodka the effect is toned down so you can enjoy it—like a luxurious classic that remains lightly sweet and approachable.

Any Chartreuse fan is often looking for a recipe to enjoy their favorite elixir, yet few of us

Click here and take a bigger gulp of this article. . .

Gilded Cage

Gilded Cage

One of the challenges often faced by cocktail enthusiasts is reconciling the fact that vodka—the most popular spirit in North America—isn't fairly represented in classic cocktail books. In fact, you just don't find mention of vodka in many of the old texts. It's as if no one had even heard of it until the Cold War when James Bond's martini and the Moscow Mule came along. Even here at Summit Sips we are guilty of tipping the scales out of balance. It's not intentional—we just don't cover as many vodka recipes as we probably should, given the likelihood that our readers probably want us to.

It might make sense from a historical perspective that—in order to cover more than a century of modern drinking culture with dozens of important classics—vodka could be considered a

Click here and take a bigger gulp of this article. . .

Brandy Buck

Brandy Buck

We've managed to stretch this line of cocktail recipes across years of posts. It's no secret that we love our homemade ginger syrup, so it is only natural that we should continue to share ways to use it. Ginger syrup has become such an important staple at the home bar—and making it using a cold process with fresh ginger juice is so easy—that we always have some on hand. Employing syrup as opposed to bottled ginger beer for cocktails is better from a storage perspective, and if you don't mind us saying so, it tastes better than anything you can buy.

So, now that you are sold on making ginger syrup (and even if you aren't, you can still use your favorite ginger beer for this drink), it's time to make the Brandy Buck. The name always reminds us of

Click here and take a bigger gulp of this article. . .

Ground Cherry Daiquiri

Ground Cherry Daiquiri

If you've never heard of them, ground cherries are odd little yellow-orange berries that look like miniature tomatillos. About the size and shape of a cranberry, they are firm and smooth, but like the tomatillo, they have a papery shroud over the fruit. The plant on which they grow apparently looks like a short tomato shrub, but here's the thing: they don't really taste like tomatoes at all. How does strawberry, pineapple, or maybe kiwi sound? We first discovered them three weeks ago at Bar Avignon in SE Portland. The ground cherries were served as part of an appetizer that we ordered and were meant to be paired with the cheese on the plate. Peeling open each light husk revealed the fruit inside, and after just one bite we knew we had to make a drink out of them. Fortunately, we found Naked

Click here and take a bigger gulp of this article. . .