I’ve been buying all these Amari lately… pretty much anything I can get my hands on. Some stores have old shit on the shelves that you’re not likely to come by anymore. When in doubt, I buy. And whilst I do like some better than others, all in all they’re a pretty wild bunch.
Medium caramel color. Smells strongly of mint, botanicals, anger. Immediately bitter, medicinal taste. Aftertaste is minty, bitter, hatey.
Del Capo (Calabria)
Light caramel color. Smells like baby aspirin. Sweet, citrusy, minty. Slightly bitter. Really nice, actually.
Punch Abruzzo (Sambuceto)
Dark caramel color. Smells like store bought egg nog. Tastes like circus peanuts, baby asprin, egg nog, citrus and mint. In that order. Not bad. This one also says it’s a cane neutral spirit and has caffeine. A little weird, yes. I suspect it’s no longer imported to the US. It was also about $50 (!)
Dark caramel color. Subtle nose. Sweet, earthy, hints of citrus and mint – and maybe mushrooms? – or not. Delicious.
Medium caramel color. Heavy botanical nose. Sweet, coffee, earth. Shit’s delish, bro. D-fucking-lish.
It’s a safe bet that one could add 1/2 oz. to either a Manhattan or Negroni, and not ruffle too many feathers, with the exception of the Fernet, which will pretty much shit on the cake and piss in the punch, as they say. Use sparingly, unless you’ve got really big ones.
Georgia is particularly known for it’s punches. Not in the fisty way – mind you – in the saucy way. The first one I’ve come across on my visit is the Planter’s Punch, made at the historic Old Pink House Tavern, located right next to the Planter’s Inn.
The Planter’s Punch is an old recipe – the earliest record of it appears in the August 8, 1908 edition of The New York Times:
This recipe I give to thee,
Dear brother in the heat.
Take two of sour (lime let it be)
To one and a half of sweet,
Of Old Jamaica pour three strong,
And add four parts of weak.
Then mix and drink. I do no wrong —
I know whereof I speak.
This recipe would suggest two parts lime juice, one and a half parts sugar, three parts Jamaican rum, and four parts water. However, today’s recipes vary quite a bit from this simple and straight forward recipe.
At the Pink House Tavern, they use Bacardi, orange juice, pineapple juice, grenadine, and a floater of dark rum. It’s a nice drink – too sweet for me, but the puss-ass tourists probably love it. These recent iterations are most likely based on Trader Vic’s recipe, as published in his 1947 book, The Bartender’s Guide:
* 3 ounces dark rum
* 1 ounce lime juice
* 1/2 ounce lemon juice
* 1/2 ounce grenadine
* 1/4 teaspoon superfine sugar
I’m going to make this at home in a few different ways, and revisit this post. I don’t feel like this venerable punch is done justice by a fucking bamboo umbrella and a spirit of cowardice.
Earlier today I stumbled across a place called the River House, and was fucking tickled to find they served Chatham Artillery Punch, which is exceptionally ass kicking, since it was created in Savannah, GA probably around 200 years ago, as the house punch of the Chatham County Artillery of Savannah, Georgia, formed May 1st, 1786.
“When you visit the town of Savannah
Enlist ‘neath the temperance banneh,
For if you should lunch,
On artillery punch,
It will treat you in sorrowful manneh.”
- Old Klingon Proverb.
Chatham Artillery Punch
1 ½ gal. Catawba Wine
½ gal. Rum (probably Jamaican)
1 qt. Gin
1 qt. Brandy
½ pt. Benedictine
2 qt. Maraschino Cherries
1 ½ qt. Rye Whiskey
1 ½ gal. Strong Tea (probably black)
2 ½ lbs. brown sugar
1 ½ qts. Orange juice
1 ½ qts. Lemon Juice
Mix from thrity-six to forty-eight hours before serving. Add one case of champagne when ready to serve.
The owner says this will make 5 gallons, and trying to reduce this amount ends is disaster. They, however, make their batches 20 gallons at a clip. Well played, sir.
The CA Punch is a like an American version of Sangria – but the good stuff – not the stuff that tastes like rotting fruit. It’s definitely one of the more substantial and boozy punches I’ve had, and the topping of Champagne makes it a bit lighter and fizzier. Umm, apparently four was too many.
Upon arriving in the fair city of Savannah, GA, I made it a first priority to find the largest liquor store I could, and see what kinds of new and exotic bourbon they had. Actually, I stopped in about five. Suffice to say there are quite a few bourbons I have never seen before, and some that are much cheaper than they are up north.
Among a few others, one that particularly stands out is Four Roses. I think I’ve seen Four Roses in Chi, but I never tried it. Anyways, it was only $16.00, which is so cheap it’s almost like I’m getting paid to drink it. Almost. Anyways, if you can find it, buy it. It’s smooth and not overly sweet… great neat or on the rocks.
I grabbed a bottle of Plymouth’s Sloe Gin a few weeks back for a bro dog of mine who said she fancied on the Sloe Gin Fizz. The SGF, as I just started calling it right now, is a great drink. It’s pretty straight forward, just some sloe gin, sugar, lemon juice and club soda. Nice, dude, fucking real nice. But, since I prefer my drinks a little more, well… boozy, I’ve come up with this little biscuit. It’s like an Aviation, swapping out the gin for the sloe gin, and adding a bit of Lillet Rouge instead of Creme Violette. So, it’s like an Aviation in that they are both drinks. Made with booze.
La Rosa Viola (the purple rose)
2 oz. Plymouth’s sloe gin
1 oz. Lillet rouge
.5 oz. lemon juice
.25 oz. Maraschino liqueur
Shake over ice, and serve up. You won’t regret it. Well, not very much, anyhoo.