As it is nearing my first year anniversary blogging for Travel By The Glass, I feel a desire for change coming on.
A year ago, my intention was to post National Hot Toddy Day as my First Ever Post. I didn’t have it ready in time so Irish Coffee won that title. It will always be my favorite post for that reason and for the fact it was a very interesting story.
But that’s the next post.
Today is Hot Toddy Day…….
In the 17th Century, when Britain controlled India, the ‘toddy’ began. Taddy / Taadi is a Hindi word meaning “beverage made from fermented palm sap”. The sap is collected by tapping the palm trees.
The meaning morphed, by 1786, into an alcoholic beverage with hot water, sugar and spices added to it.
Interesting Facts About Palm Trees
They don’t form annual ‘rings’ the way other trees do.
There are 2600 different species known, many in tropical climates.
2/3 are growing in rain forests.
They all grow a type of fruit.
The British claimed the toddy as their own but the rightful place perhaps should be India since the original form comes from the palm trees of India.
Word spread of this hot beverage and many more claims to fame arose.
Spicing It Up
The basic recipe contains your choice of liquor, hot water, lemon, honey and tea. Brandy, any form of whisky (bourbon and scotch) and rum are popular liquors to use. But don’t stop there! Anything goes…tequila, fruit flavoured brandies, whatever you have on hand.
Got a sore throat? Use gin!
So what spices can you put in your hot toddy?
Whether you’re going for a traditional hot toddy or a non-alcoholic one, add some cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
Most households have honey hiding in their cupboard but if you keep unusual items, maybe you have agave nectar (the last place I saw this was in a Home Sense store) or simple syrup. These can be used instead of honey. Also, if you can find it, cinnamon syrup or a cranberry spice syrup. See sidebar for the recipes.
On your vacation to India, there are plenty of wonderful places to see and experience. If you’re there right now, visit a Toddy Shop for National Hot Toddy Day!
Published by Kim Ratcliffe-Doe on January 11, 2018.
Just in time for festivities this Christmas! Why not enjoy a pitcher with your family and friends instead of the usual Egg Nog?
1. The word Sangria ha limited use on the labels in Europe. Since 2014, only sangria sold in Spain and Portugal can be labeled as Sangria. If it’s made elsewhere is Europe, for example, Germany, then is must be labeled “German Sangria”.
2. When we think of sangria, we think of wine, a handful of chopped fruit pieces, some fruit juice, that sort of thing. In Spain, they use Brandy. Imagine the taste of that!
3. Sangria, that new hip thing everyone is getting into, again? Well, it’s been around since the 1700’s. Back then it was referred to as Sangaree. Only since the New York World’s Fair, in 1964, re-introduced sangria, has it been known as the version we love today.
And of course, there has to be a story to go along with it. Due to its blood-like color, the name comes from the Spanish word for blood, sangre.
Here’s where is gets a little more complicated…
4. In 1736, British Gentleman’s Magazine mentions that a punch seller, in London, England, concocted a blood colored drink with the strong, fortified Madeira wine and called it Sangre. The origins point towards Spain, Portugal and the Caribbean. So far, it makes sense…Madeira is a Portuguese wine. Over the next 20 years, the drink somehow developed the name Sangaree.
It is said that Sangaree did originate in the Caribbean then later brought to America. This, too, would make sense if the wine was transported to the Caribbean and the locals mixed it with something sweet since they were more accustomed to sweeter tasting drinks.
Or did the experimenting begin outside the vineyards of Europe?
As with many of the cocktails, you can expect at least 2 stories of how a drink was invented.
The Screwdriver is no different.
It is apparently one of the first vodka cocktails invented.
Prohibition caused the production of some vile tasting homemade alcohol so bartenders began adding fruit juice to spirits. Thus, the birth of cocktails.
We do know that the Screwdriver has been around since at least 1949 when Time Magazine published this quote on October 24:
“In the dimly lighted bar of the sleek Park Hotel, Turkish intelligence agents mingle with American engineers and Balkan refugees, drinking the latest Yankee concoction of vodka and orange juice, called a ‘screwdriver.”
Which Park Hotel do they speak of? India? Seems they’ve only been around since the 1960’s. Unless it was rebuilt.
Where did this madness start?
Was it during World War II when soldiers snuck vodka into their morning OJ?
Or when Mid-20th-Century oil workers in the Persian Gulf started mixing the same ingredients after a very long day? Lacking utensils to stir this mixture, they reached for the closest item that would work….a screwdriver.
Perhaps it was the facial expression of someone drinking the vile tasting homemade vodka, during the Prohibition-era, that prompted the idea. Mixed with the need to disguise any talk of alcohol, the code word, Screwdriver, was put into use to mislead authorities. So that takes us to the 1920’s and 30’s before WWII and certainly before mid-Century!
Is it just me, or do they all seem like lame stories?
But, hey, what about this quote from Journalism quarterly, Volume 44 in 1938…. “And answered it “The famous Smirnoff Screwdriver”, Just pour a jigger of smirnoff vodka over ice cubes, fill glass with orange juice and serve.”
Could this GET any more confusing?
Then, in 1944, in Volume 23 of Newsweek, this was published: “A Screwdriver —a half-orange-juice and half-vodka drink popularized by interned American aviators—costs a dollar including the customary barman’s tip.”
Smirnoff’s “Screwdriver” Campaign began in 1937 so that blows pretty much all of these theories out of the water, so to speak. Except for maybe #3.
However, I don’t see the Smirnoff website making any claims of inventing the drink.
That being said, let’s go with #2! It’s the earliest version that I can find. Know of an earlier story? I’d love to hear it!
Happy National Screwdriver Day!
Posted by Kim Ratcliffe-Doe just for fun on December 14, 2017.
Why dangerous? Because you can barely taste the alcohol and the flavour is heavenly!
Have you ever wondered where cocoa comes from? We all know it’s from a bean. Not to be confused with the coffee bean, however. But before that? What does the bean look like before it is a bean? What does the tree look like?
It is possible that the cacao tree had been in use even before the Mayan culture, which dates back as far as 600 AD. So much more that some believe the Olmec civilization 3000 years ago first discovered the delicious fruit of these trees.
The Olmec people are presumed to originate from what is today the state Veracruz and, it’s neighbouring state, Tabasco, Mexico is where the Olmec people originate. The plant is native to in Central and South America and, today, still grows wild in Southern Mexico.
If you’ve never seen what a cocoa tree looks like, see how the cocoa pods are harvested and are turned into chocolate. First time I ever saw the true source of our chocolate bars!
Beer in general ranks #3 as the beverage of choice behind water and tea. 187.37 million kiloliters of beer was consumed in 2012.
Lager is one of the main types of beer and is made from malted barley. Lagers are generally pilsners, bocks and dopplebocks, Maerzens/Oktoberfests and Dortmunders. (DAB)
Lager, a lightly hopped beer, is made from bottom fermenting yeast.It is called this because it ferments on its way through the body of the beer and settles at the bottom once the process is done.
15th Century Bavarians discovered that the beer they stored in the winter time, within caves, continued to ferment. The end result was a lighter and smoother tasting beer.
Lagers ferment and age slowly at cool temperatures from 35 degrees to 55 degrees. Chemical reactions happen more slowly at low temperatures, thus making it a more stable, cleaner, non-fruity tasting beer. No wonder more lager than ale is produced every year.
Ales ferment and age quickly at warm temperatures.
According to Punchbowl.com, lager is the beer of choice over ale all over the world except in England.
Lagerung is German for storeroom. Therefore, if you hear the term lagered in Germany, well, it was stored in Germany. Google’s literal translation for storage is Lager.
Samuel Adams began a hops sharing program due to the shortage of hops in 2008. They will regulate how much each brewery gets, to avoid the devastation of any future shortage.
Beer had taken a back seat when it came to health benefits that seem so popular with red wine. A January 2015 study at the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that xanthohumol may slow the effects of dementia and alzheimer’s. This compound, found in hops, protects brain cells from oxidative damage which contributes to the development of these diseases.
Is there truth to this or just the beer conglomerates trying to keep their beer in the forefront by grasping at any health benefit in beer?
One thing for sure, beer is the only source of this compound. So if you believe the study, you may be considering incorporating beer into your diet. Like everything else in life: moderation is the key.
Beer is brewed at the White House. In 2012, Barack Obama began brewing beer using honey taken from a bee hive on the South Lawn.
Under the stadium, there is a cooling center that can hold 52,000 liters of beer. The pipeline brings the beer up to the bars, 14 liters of beer per minute. The handy creation supplies the bars and restaurants with much needed beer to accompany the soccer games.
I’ll be honest, I had to look this one up. Well, I look them ALL up. I don’t have these facts running through my head at leisure. What does Repeal mean?
A hint….if you’re not sure either.
Popularly known as the Volstead Act.
Woodrow Wilson, the President of the United States at the time, along with American Congress passed this Amendment, outlawing alcohol….
THE 18TH AMENDMENT
RATIFIED JANUARY 16, 1919
“SECTION 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
SECTION 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
SECTION 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.”
To it’s benefit, alcohol consumption dropped in the days, and years, following the establishment of Prohibition.
As a result, cases of deaths due to Cirrhosis, in men, decreased from 29.5 per 100,000 in 1911 to 10.7 in 1929.
State mental hospitals saw a decline in admissions for alcoholic psychosis from 10.1 per 100,000 in 1919 to 4.7 in 1928.
The arrests police made for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct dropped by 50 percent between 1916 and 1922.
Then there’s the other side….the Speakeasies. They did exist before Prohibition but skyrocketed in popularity afterwards.
Reformists believed, during the Prohibition years, there had been an increase in child neglect and violence against children.
Hmm, makes you think alcohol is a coping mechanism?
Not to mention the lost revenue! The Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform and The Association Against the Prohibition Amendment claims $861 million was lost in federal tax revenue from untaxed liquor when $40 million was spent annually on Prohibition enforcement.
On March 4, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt became President of the United States. It didn’t take long for changes to be made to Prohibition….
THE 21ST AMENDMENT
RATIFIED DECEMBER 5, 1933
SECTION 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
SECTION 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use there in of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.
SECTION 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
Just to be clear, Repeal means to revoke or annul.
Did you know there are still countries still enforcing prohibition? Apparently, outlawing alcohol in Canada didn’t really fly – it lasted only 2 years – and was implemented due to the war.
Why Celebrate This Day?
First of all, be thankful, if you live in a country without prohibition, you can enjoy a glass of wine or draught in public with your friends without getting arrested.
Other holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo are not even written in the American Constitution and they are vastly celebrated. The Repeal Amendment is a part of the Constitution so enjoy…. responsibly.
The 21st Amendment allowed for the continuation of traditional fermentation and distillation, that was so rudely cut off for 17 years prior.
This catapulted the American bartender into “culinary artist” status.
If it were still outlawed, chances are you would make sure you found a way to have one today.
Exercise your right, go ahead and celebrate National Repeal Day. Have your favorite drink after work….because you can!
Harvey What?! The Harvey Wallbanger is a glorified Screwdriver. Not to say it isn’t delicious because it is.
It’s origins are speculated by many but really unknown.
Three-time world champ mixologist, Donato Duke Antone claims to have invented this drink in 1952. He named the drink after a surfer, Tom Harvey, who frequented his bar, the now-defunct Black Watch Bar in Los Angeles.
Or perhaps it was George Bednar, an employee of McKesson’s Imports Company, who promoted Galliano. Bednar hired an artist, possibly one, Bill Young, to design a surfer caricature with the slogan, Harvey Wallbanger is the name. And I can be made!”. They also promoted another slogan, “Fond of things Italiano? Try a sip of Galliano.”
Lucky for whoever invented it, the drink caught on for beach goers.
An interesting tidbit of information, not necessarily related to the Harvey Wallbanger, finds John McKesson and Charles Olcott as the founders of McKesson’s in 1833 New York City. It began in the production of therapeutic drugs and chemicals then merged in the 1960’s, introducing alcoholic beverages, drugs and chemicals.
In 1988, an article announced that McKesson’s would cease the production of alcohol and would maintain their pharmaceutical-only status.
In my opinion, the Harvey Wallbanger is the perfect example of the naming of wild cocktails during the psychelic era.
What Makes The Wallbanger So Different?
The one ingredient that makes this drink different from a Screwdriver is Galliano, a vanilla-anise flavoured Italian liqueur now owned by Lucas Bols.
If there’s anise in it, wouldn’t it taste like licorice? Well, the vanilla prevents the strong taste of anise to take over the liqueur. Like most popular liquors and liqueurs, the company protects its secret ingredients. Galliano is no different. The only spicing they divulge is Mediterranean Anise, Juniper, Musk Yarrow, Star Anise, Lavender, Peppermint, Cinnamon and Vanilla.
With the distillery situated in the Netherlands, Bols International is still run by the Bols family. Their first liqueur, in 1575, a blend of cumin, cardamom and orange was produced in the small Amsterdam distillery called tlootsje.
Lucas Bols, the grandson of the founder, played a key role in growing the company by shipping their product all over the world.
The design of their bottle is distinctively unique and ergonomic for bartenders to pour from.
What’s your go-to shooter when you’re out with friends? Tequila? Something sweet? Or something to knock you over? See how it has evolved over the years….
Even though the first one mentioned in print came from the NY Times in the 1940’s, shots have been around long before that.
According to wikipedia, the shot, or a drink of alcohol, has been around since the 17th Century.
Jumping ahead a bit, the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s saw a surge of strange and wildly named drinks and shots to compete with the psychedelic drugs. Which explains some of those oddly named shooters!
Why Is It Called a Shot?
…It can be compared to a shot of medicine. Makes me think of Mary Poppins…rrrum punch.
…In early America, a tiny glass sat upon the dinner table. What was this little glass for? Well, the meat you were served could very well still have a buckshot or lead shot still lodged in it. If you found one whilst eating, remove it and put it in the glass. Shot glass!
…Friedrich Otto Schott, the co-founder of the glassworks factory Jenaer Glaswerk Schott & Genossen invented this type of glass. It came to America and of course became Americanized. Schott Glas to Shot Glass!
…Over 100 years ago, when writing quills were being used, lead shot pooled in the bottom of a tiny glass. When not in use, you would rest your quill in the liquid lead. Hmm shot glass!
Now, what about those jell-o shots? Those are relatively new, right? Check Jerry Thomas’ How To Mix Drinks. Enter 22 in the page box and you will be quite surprised! The recipe book was printed in 1862.
In the same book, a drink that was lit on fire, the Blue Blazer , is first mentioned and the rest is history. Bartenders push the limits lighting all sorts of drinks on fire.
A Few Favorites
Kamikaze…1976…..Vodka, triple sec and lime juice.
If you like layered drinks, a B-52…1977…considered to originate in Calgary, AB…coffee liqueur, Irish cream and orange flavoured liqueur.
Buttery Nipple…1980’s…mentioned in the song, Shots, by Pitbull…butterscotch ripple and Irish cream. Sounds delightful!
My all time favorite is actually the very first shot I tried… a China White. Equal parts Creme de Cacao and Baileys, layered in that order. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top. If you like lush, please do indulge in one.
Another lush shot is the Polar Bear. White Creme de Cacao and white Creme de Menthe. Shake with ice and pour. And pour some more.
The home of Merlot, the territory of Bordeaux, France, is considered the wine capital of the world.
Merle is French for blackbird. It seems blackbird love these grapes.
The aroma and flavours of Merlot are generally composed of black cherry, berries, plum, chocolate, and herbs. They are an easy wine to drink due its medium body, smooth acidity and low tannins.
Merlot grapes, vitis vinifera, prefer a clay soil.
Merlot can be found in a white version which is produced in the same fashion as rose wines or Zinfandel. The grape skins are in contact with the grape juice for a very short time, just long enough to give it a blush colour.
It pairs well with salmon, shellfish, mushrooms, camembert and gouda cheese. Personally, I think red wines in general pair well with chocolate.
What is brandied fruit? My mind goes back to my childhood when those boxes of Pot of Gold sat open on the coffee table at Christmas time. Rum chocolates and that sort of thing.
Brandied fruit is not so tame, I’ve discovered.
When I think about it, I have actually eaten this. On a vacation to the Dominican Republic a few years back, I returned, quite happily, with some delicious tequila, called Bear Hug, that I had sampled at the duty free shop.
No lemon, nor salt is required to toss one of these shots back. It is the sweetest, smoothest tasting tequila I have ever tried. Better yet, don’t toss it back. Savour it’s delightfulness with a small ice cube. Move over, Jose Cuervo!
A nice little gift waited for me at the bottom of this bottle of Bear Hug. Not a worm but strips of papaya! Those little babies pack a punch! Be careful eating too much in one sitting, otherwise you’ll end up with alcohol poisoning.
Granted the title implies using brandy, but, based on the above combination, why not use any favorite liquor? Incidentally, brandy is produced from the distillation of wine. Whereas, wine is the product of fermentation and, in many cases, aging.
Again, I will mention the Bitters Experiment. The fruit I have used so far are apricots and cranberries. Use your imagination! Mangoes are my next target. The most popular are: Apples, Apricots, Cherries, Pears, Peaches and Plums. A variety of berries work great, too!
As far as the alcohol aspect, you can use Armagnac, American Brandies or Cognac. Catch my post coming up in February for National Brandy Day.
For the best results, infuse your chosen fruit in your best tasting alcohol for at least one month.
The down side is you have to add alot of sugar, such as the case of this recipe. I did not add sugar to my fruit infusions but could add honey if I so chose. Or I could mix my bitters with a fruit juice or a sweet liqueur, the options are endless.
I did find one that requires much less if you’re interested in attempting your own concoction for National Brandied Fruit Day.
Make Your Own Brandied Fruit
1 pound of fruit
3-4 tablespoons of sugar (more if the fruit used isn’t overly sweet)
1/3 cup water
2 inches of a vanilla bean
Additional spices, such as cinnamon, allspice, peppercorns, etc, even citrus peels, can be experimented with.
Simmer water and sugar and cook until clear. Let cool.
Sprinkle the cut/sliced/chopped fruit with lemon juice. Fill sterilized jars, leaving half an inch of space at the top. Pour the brandy/liquor mix to fill the rest of the jar.
Add small bits of vanilla to each jar and any spices you wish. Seal and store in a dark place for a month or longer.
Once it’s ready in a month from now and you want to nibble on a couple of pieces, top up the jar with more of the same alcohol/brandy to keep the fruit safe for consumption.
A jar should last up to 10 months in the refrigerator after opening.
For the full recipe, since I made modifications to my own preference.
Ways to Enjoy Brandied Fruit
On top of ice cream.
All by itself.
When the girls come over for a pajama party. (No one’s driving after a few of these, right?!)
Toss some in your Sangria.
As an accompaniment to your cheese plate.
Bake it into a cake.
I would love to hear of any of your variations of fruit and liquor/liqueur. Drop me a line!
Posted by Kim Ratcliffe-Doe on her birthday, October 20, 2017.