Monday, June 1, 2009

Preview of Coming Cocktail Attractions - Pisco Punch

In my introduction I mentioned that I'd heard that the way to have the most fun is to enjoy something "before", "during", and "after"

So this post is some of "before"- before the event, before it happens ... so this party is still just an idea, a concept. We can think about the party - the recipe, the guests, the glassware, the smell of the ripe fruit - a whole ripe pineapple - we can think about all that now, enjoy all that now. We may wait until later to have the drink, but we can have some fun right now just thinking about it - No cost, no calories, just fun. Your body can't (always) tell the difference between real and conceptual thought - I can't stop smelling that pineapple - its so ripe.


You know, it could happen that after we research, formulate, and taste this drink, we decide not to serve it at a party - not to put the "George and Oceana imprimatur" up on it - so this could be a cliff-hanger!

I just received my copy of Wings of Cherubs, The Saga of the Rediscovery of Pisco Punch, Old San Francisco's Mystery Drink, by Guillermo Toro-Lira.

I've only read enough to be sure that the recipe Guillermo presents is different from the one(s) commonly available online.

This is a drink that was indisputably invented in San Francisco -
at the south-east corner of the intersection of the Montgomery and Washington streets, in the Montgomery Block building, where the Transamerica Pyramid now stands. It was famous across America in its day, if not the world, Mark Twain praised it, and Rudyard Kipling said it was “compounded of the shavings of cherub’s wings, the glory of a tropical dawn, the red clouds of sunset and the fragments of lost epics by dead masters.”

How can you not be excited about that!

So for all you localvores out there,
its a "local recipe".
  • Its from the 'Barbary Coast' of Old San Francisco
  • People really loved this drink, so I'm hoping it has stood the test of time.
  • The recipe has many steps and takes a day or two to make - so if it is special, it will be a rare and unusual experience.
  • Its an opportunity to learn all about gum arabic and gum syrup / gomme syrup - in fact I have a pound of gum acacia powder sitting by my desk and a rather expensive bottle of gomme syrup from Small Hand Foods
And, who doesn't love a treasure hunt - Raiders of the Lost Cocktail Recipes: the Saga Continues (cue the trumpets ....)

In Episode 1,
our hero Beach Bum Berry
finally uncovered the secret of
the mysterious Zombie ...

Episode 2 takes us to a jungle
called the Barbary Coast of San Francisco
where liquor was cheap, and life was cheaper .....
and one man,
Duncan Nicol,
mixed a legend.
His recipe, kept secret, was claimed by the sands of time.

Or was it .....

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