Sunday, March 4, 2012

Six and Three - I invent a drink

OK, I forgot to plan for this party and there are going to be 60 people there.

Punch, obviously.

I had a lot of partial bottles of rum - half a bottle of blackstrap, 3 or 4 oz of Wray & Nephew 151, a bunch of white rum.

Sixty people, sixty drinks at 6 oz a pour means I needed to make three gallons. 

My library of recipe books is still in storage since my move in April 2011, so after doing some google blog searches I decide to start with orange juice as the main fruit - its inexpensive.   The trouble with google is that you can find a ton of recipes, but are any of them good?  I wound up at Drinkhacker with his Zombie Punch (a Donn the Beachcomber variant), and I did a bunch of math about the ratios of sweet and sour (remember three parts strong, two parts sour, one part sweet?).  That didn't go anywhere.

I went to the store and looked at my juice choices - I thought of unsweetened cranberry - and decided to try tart Cherry.  I also went through my liquor cabinet and my drink fridge - I pulled out a couple of pints of homemade grenadine (cold process) and two bottles Millie's incredible passion fruit syrup.  I'm one of those people who puts a couple of ounces of 100 proof vodka into my syrups to make them shelf stable.

So I started with the base (OJ) and added the passion fruit and cherry. The passion fruit disappeared into the background and the tart cherry just wasn't that tart.  So, a bunch of lemon and lime juice - taste, mix, add, stir.  OK, but not a lot of body so I added the grenadine.  Good enough to have Oceana taste it.

Refrigerate it for a few hours, check the taste, add the booze.
  • 210 oz OJ
  • 32 oz Millie's Passion Fruit syrup
  • 32 oz Tart Cherry Juice (unsweetened)
  • 18 oz cold process grenadine
  • 25 oz lemon juice
  • 9 oz lime juice
  • 55 oz white rum (mostly Flor de Cana)
  • 17 oz dark rum (Sailor Jerry Spiced rum - mostly tastes like vanilla?)
  • 8 oz Cruzan Blackstrap
Result: an "A" list punch at 8% ABV - rich, slightly sweet, easy to drink. 

Under other circumstances I would have added a 1.75 of Flor de Cana to bring it up to 13% ABV, and I would have used a Jamaican dark rum - Coruba - instead of the Sailor Jerry. But I used what I had.

What did I learn?
First, OJ has a very weak taste in cocktails.  I knew that (but forgot)
Second, nothing is as tart as lemon & lime juice - I was on the right track when I initially thought 'cranberry'
Third, with three plus gallons of punch, don't bother with anything less that 8 oz of an ingredient.

The grenadine is a very dominant flavor and pairs right up with the cherry juice. Passion Fruit is a shy flower, hiding in the background.

Yes, I've invented drinks before. They weren't memorable.  And the name?  
Six kinds of fruit, and Three kinds of rum.

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