Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mixology Monday XLV: Teas, If You Please

Bramble Punch marries the flavors of blackberries and cinnamon.

According to tippler folklore, teas played an important role in the history of the cocktail. Many believe that they were one of five ingredients required to make a proper punch, the other four being spirits, sugar, juice, and water. These same people also believe that the word punch is derived from the Hindu word for five (panch is an approximation), so you see how this led the believers (we will call them Panchophiles) to claim that punches should be made with five ingredients. We will accept as gospel the claims of the Panchophiles for the sake of this Mixology Monday post, hosted by Cocktail Virgin Slut. This dual-natured cocktail aficionado has proposed that we all make a drink with tea as an ingredient. Not ones to shy away from a challenge, we share with you our love of communal bowls filled with redolent, spirituous delights, by making you a Bramble Punch.

Bramble Punch lauds the marriage of two bold flavors, blackberries and cinnamon, and highlights the five main elements of Punch (this would please the Panchophiles). First, cognac and a medium-bodied rum give this punch its punch, plus the addition of two more spirits—Jeżynówka, a Polish blackberry-flavored brandy, and Becherovka, a Czech herb-and-spice liqueur. Second, sweetness gets a boost from some rich maple syrup and dark brown sugar. Third, two juices, pink grapefruit and tangerine, unite to tame the heat and bold flavors of the spirits and liqueurs. Fourth, black tea infused with cassia-cinnamon enhances the melding of the flavors, and offers its own unique flavor. Fifth, ice, as it melts, adds the necessary water to make this drink smoother so you can enjoy sipping it as soon as its placed in your hands.

Bramble Punch
(created by Cocktail Buzz)

4 1/2 oz. amber (medium-bodied) rum (such as Old New Orleans or Mount Gay Eclipse)
3 oz. cognac (such as as Martell VSOP or Hennessy VS)
1 1/2 oz. Jeżynówka (blackberry-flavored brandy)
3/4 oz. Becherovka (Czech spice liqueur)
1 1/2 oz. cinnamon-infused black tea*
1/2 T. maple syrup
1 T. dark brown sugar
1 1/2 oz. tangerine juice
1 1/2 oz. pink grapefruit juice
ice cubes, preferably in a chunk, or a block with blackberries frozen within.

* Steep a tea bag (with black tea) and a cinnamon stick in 1 cup of boiling water. Remove the tea bag after 3 hours. Remove cinnamon stick after 3 days. If you can’t wait 3 days, then make sure you shake it well before using.

Add all the ingredients (except the chunk of ice cubes) into a large shaker or capped bottle. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds, making sure the sugar dissolves (if you prefer, you can dissolve the sugar in a little water before adding it to the mix). Place ice chunk or ice block in bowl. Pour punch into bowl. If using a chunk of ice cubes, the ice cubes will start to break apart. When they do, or if you are using a block of ice, stir the punch with the ladle to chill, wait a minute (do not rush, let the ice dissolve a bit), stir again, and serve. Add a blackberry to each cup for a nice sweet-tart surprise at the end of your drink.

Serves 4.

photos © Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your Mixology Monday entry! Anything with Becherovka is good in my book!


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