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Archive for the ‘brandy’ Category

We’ve been on a breakfast kick of late at my house- pain perdu with strawberry cream cheese, blueberry cornmeal pancakes, coconut lime bread – and naturally need cocktails to go along. While Bloody Marys (liquid salsa in my opinion) and Mimosas (just give me Champagne, please) are fine for some, I prefer drinks such as the Ramos Gin Fizz (RGF), the Brandy Milk Punch (BMP), or Red Rooster Punch. Living in New Orleans, we have plenty of access to and variety of drinks and morning is no exception. It was an adjustment for both my husband and me to get comfortable with the general acceptability here of “drinking before noon.”

Chris McMillian, currently at Bar Uncommon, makes a excellent Ramos Gin Fizz and can teach you about the history of the drink and its creator Henry Ramos as well. The RGF is not relegated to just the a.m. hours, but is particularly well suited for easing into the morning or for those recovering from the effects of the previous evening. Chris actually made me my first RGF the first time I visited him at his bar. I had just read about how Huey P. Long would speak about this great drink during his travels and even went so far to bring along his own bartender so he could have a correctly made RGF. It’s silky, creamy, and zippy. The gin is stealthily hidden, so if you consume too many you might end up needing a hangover cure for your hangover cure. You will definitely need the energy or a second person in reserve to shake this drink for a long time, but the effort is well worth it. Watch this video of Chris making the RGF from his days at the Ritz Carlton and then try it out for yourself. We prefer a modified version of the recipe from The Joy of Mixology: The Consummate Guide to the Bartender’s Craft by Gary Regan:

    Ramos_Gin_FizzRamos Gin Fizz, makes 2 cocktails

    2 oz gin
    1 oz cream
    1 raw egg white
    ½ oz simple syrup
    ½ oz fresh lime juice
    ½ oz fresh lemon juice
    ¼ oz orange-flower water
    couple of drops of pure vanilla extract

    Combine ingredients in shaker, add ice, shake vigorously, and strain into chilled, highball glass without ice. You will need to shake for well over a minute to get the correct texture.

My other drink that I have fallen in love is the Brandy Milk Punch. I had it for the first time visiting Commander’s Palace where we had Easter brunch. It’s simple to make, requires few ingredients compared to the RGF, and can be batched in large quantities if you’re having a large party or heading off to the parades. Chris McMillian has a video on this as well. While the video presents different proportions, I prefer the Commander’s version of the BMP as printed within the In the Land of Cocktails: Recipes and Adventures from the Cocktail Chicks:

    Brandy Milk Punch

    2 oz brandy
    1 oz simple syrup
    ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1½ oz milk
    Freshly grated nutmeg

    Combine ingredients except for nutmeg in shaker, add ice, shake vigorously, and strain into rocks glass with ice. Grate a light dusting of the nutmeg on top.

Lastly, my mom unwittingly established a Thanksgiving day tradition for me by making a Red Rooster Punch many years ago. I believe she had seen it on one of Emeril Lagasse’s shows on the Food Network. The flavors represent fall and it can easily be batched up and enjoyed by a group with breakfast or throughout the morning and afternoon as the big meal is being prepared. I’ve changed it up over the years by freezing the vodka and really chilling the cranberry juice to serve it as a liquid drink with a minimal amount of “ice” crystals. Flavored vodkas (such as citrus, spice, pear, etc.) would also work well with this.
Red_Rooster

    Red Rooster Punch, makes about 8 cocktails

    1½ quarts cranberry juice, very chilled
    One 6 oz can frozen orange juice
    2 cups vodka, pulled straight from the freezer
    Cranberries and/or orange slice to garnish, optional

    Combine all ingredients in a pitcher, garnish with fruit, and serve immediately. Leftovers can be stored in the freezer.

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