Q.B. Cooler

Q.B. Cooler – Classic 1934 Don the Beachcomber Tiki Cocktail Recipe

Don the Beachcombers Forgotten Recipes

Immediately after prohibition had been repealed by the 21st amendment Donn Beach opened Don the Beachcomber in Hollywood California. Donn single handedly created the first Tiki bar and with it tiki culture. but like most innovators Donn was worried about others coping his Hollywood style Polynesian themed bar and profiting off his ideas. Donn would show up a few hours before the bar opened and mix large batches of his spice mixes and mixers, and give them non descriptive labels like Donn’s spice mix #1, #2, #3, or Donn’s Zombie Mix, Grog Mix, Gardenia mix. This was all done to hide the recipes. Donn never told the other bartenders, or published a recipe, and while he did open other bars his recipes never got out. Thus Donn’s original recipes died with him in 1989. So keep that in mind anytime you see a Don the Beachcomber cocktail that it is never an original recipe but another bartender best guess as to what it was. And some guesses are better than others. For a little over a decade Tiki was kinda a lawless free for all with no continuity between drinks of the same name. There is still a lot of that today. How many Mai Tai recipes have you seen even though we know the original canon recipe for it?

In the late 90s a Tiki cocktail enthusiast named Jeff Berry came along with the intent of preserving the old recipes and Tiki culture and helped revitalize the publics interest in it. Jeff interviewed old bartenders of Donn the Beachcombers and set out to recreate Donn secret recipes to the best of knowledge. Gathering whatever information he could and testing recipes against people who remembered what the old drinks tasted like, he is credited with having saved recipes that would otherwise be lost to time. Keep in mind though that these are not Donn’s original recipe but Jeff’s best attempts at recreating them and that Jeff Beachbum Berry is probably the closest one to getting it right.

What Does Q.B Mean

If you are former Air Force you probably already know the answer to this but the Q.B. in the Q.B. Cooler stands for Quite Birdmen. Donn Beach served in the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) from 1942 – 1945. The Quite Birdmen is an invite only club of former military aviators that formed at the end of WWI in France. Originally a drinking club named The American Flying Club they eventually earned the name Quite Birdmen as a joke since they were often very loud and drunk. As former Lieutenant Colonel of the Army Air Forces if seems fitting to name a drink after the Air Forces drinking club. (Originally arial warfare was apart of the Army as the Army Air Corps till 1941, then Army Air Forces in 1942, It wouldn’t become a separate branch till 1947 when the US Air Force was formed)

Inspiration for the Mai Tai

There is a common story that Victor Bergeron (Trader Vic) was inspired by Donn Beach’s Q.B. Cooler and in an attempt to imitate it made the Mai Tai. But I don’t really buy that. 1). The Mai Tai and Q.B. Cooler are almost completely different drinks. It doesn’t help that there are countless recipes of the two but the more or less agreed upon canon recipes are very different. If Victor Bergeron was trying to copy the Q.B. Cooler than he completely missed the mark. 2). Victor Bergeron did not hide when he was inspired by Donn Beach. He was very open that he started tiki because he loved what Donn had invented. Also he sited the cocktails he did try and mimic from Donn as cocktails inspired by and originally from Don the Beachcomber. Why would he suddenly act differently with this one drink? 3). From what I gather this story was started by a bartender of Donn’s and not Donn himself. Donn did not hide his frustration with others trying to copy his work and it was not the Mai Tai trying to copy his Q.B Cooler that he took issue with but Victor Bergeron’s Mai Tai trying to copy his own Mai Tai recipe that pissed him off. Which leads to my final point. 4). Victor Bergeron and Donn Beach actually went to court to argue who’s Mai Tai was the original. Victor sold a pre-made “Original” Mai Tai mixer and in the 1970s when Donn Beach began selling a pre-made “Original” Mai Tai mixer too the two went to court to argues who was actually the original. Victor Bergeron won and Donn removed “Original” from the label. I personally believe if Victor Bergeron tried to copy the Q.B. Cooler he would have just made drink called the Q.B Cooler and credit Donn Beach with having invented it.

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Q.B. Cooler – Classic 1934 Don the Beachcomber Tiki Cocktail Recipe

0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

256

kcal
ABV

27%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make an Q.B. Cooler

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice

  • 1/2 oz Orange Juice

  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

  • 2 dashes Absinthe

  • 1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup

  • 2 oz Black Rum

  • 1 oz White Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into a shaker, and add a scoop of shaved ice. If you do not have shaved ice then crushed ice will do.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Pour the whole shaker into the serving glass. Ice and all

Notes

Fogcutter

Fog Cutter – Classic Victor Bergeron Tiki Cocktail Recipe

Fog Cutter Taste & History

This is defiantly more on the tart side of tiki drinks and is closer in taste to a sour than most juice filled tiki cocktails. Think of this as kind of a nutty tiki version of a rum sour. Its an wonderful cocktail that is more to the taste of someone who like sours than someone who likes Dark & Stormies or mules.

Nothing too interesting on the history of this cocktail. It was invented by Victor Bergeron for Trader Vic’s and was one of his most popular cocktails second to the Mai Tai. Trader Vic’s Bartending Guide says that after 2 of these you won’t even see straight anymore, but I have had 2 or 3 of them and I was alright. There are countless variations on this guy (that’s true for almost all tiki drinks), but this here is the tried and true recipe from Trader Vic’s book itself.

Floating Sherry On Top

The last ingredient in this cocktail is to do a sherry float on top. Here is the thing though, sherry is very dense and thus can not float. Floating alcohols on top of each other is based on weight. Sugar is heavier than water, water is heavier than alcohol, and the heaviest ingredient will always sit at the bottom. The sherry is way more sugary than the drink therefore it will want to drop to the bottom. This works out to have a cool effect and makes it look as if the sherry is cutting through the drink. If you want a cool dark float that will sit at the top try using 151, as it is has less sugar than the rest of the drink and is much more alcoholic, so it will stay on top.

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Fog Cutter – Classic Victor Bergeron Tiki Cocktail Recipe

0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

344

kcal
ABV

19%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Fog Cutter.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1 oz Orange Juice

  • 1/2 oz Orgeat

  • 1/2 oz Dry Gin

  • 2 oz White Rum

  • 1 oz Brandy

  • 1 oz Sherry

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients except the sherry into a shaker, and add a scoop of shaved ice. If you do not have shaved ice then crushed ice will do.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Pour the whole shaker into the serving glass. Ice and all
  • Top with a float of sherry.

Notes

Scorpion

Scorpion Cocktail – Trader Vic’s 1972 Single Serve Scorpion Recipe

Scorpion Cocktail History

The original scorpion was not a bowl or an individual cocktail but a punch from Victor Bergeron’s First book from 1947, and was a punch made for 12. The original scorpion recipe was 1.5 bottles of rum, 2 oz gin, 2 oz brandy, 1 pint of lemon juice, 1/2 a pint of orange juice, 1/2 a pint worth of orgeat, 1/2 a bottle or white wine and 2 sprigs of mint. Those are some odd proportions if you ask me, like Trader vic added the gin and mint as a joke. That original scorpion punch is also in the 1972 edition, but the updated edition included his more popular versions of the scorpion.

Trader vic heavily modified the recipe over the years and in his 1972 edition added the scorpion bowl and a single scorpion cocktail. The recipe here is the single serve version and in my opinion the best version of the drink. But I will say those flaming scorpion bowls are a ton of fun. Oddly enough the scorpion bowl which is made to serve 3 is not just 3x the ingredients of the single serve one. The ingredients are the same but the volumes are different.

Scorpion Taste

The scorpion was Trader Vic’s third most popular cocktail and while I think this is the best version of the drink it’s not a top tier tiki cocktail in my book. It’s just kinda juice and booze. Again that is a personal opinion and taste is subjective. Its good but not outstanding. When I think tiki I envision juice, booze and spice, but this cocktail lacks spice. The Orgeat adds a nice nuttiness to the drink but the white rum and orange juice and lemon juice are the most prominent flavors. And if its going to be heavy on the juice then let it be exotic juices like pomegranate, passion fruit, pineapple, papaya, etc, not just orange and lemon. This is a tiki drink I would have loved when I first started drinking tiki drinks, but a decade and half in this comes off bland to me.

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Scorpion Cocktail – Original Trader Vic’s Tiki Cocktail Recipe

0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

296

kcal
ABV

17%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Scorpion.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz Lemon Juice

  • 2 oz Orange Juice

  • 1/2 oz Orgeat

  • 1 oz Brandy

  • 2 oz White Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into a blender with a single scoop of ice cubes.
  • Blend on low for 10 seconds or till the ice is mostly pulverized.
  • Now blend on high for 5-10 seconds to completely crush the ice and turn the drink into a slushy texture.
  • Pour into serving glass.

Notes

Pi Yi

Pi Yi Cocktail – Vintage Donn Beach Tiki Cocktail

PI YI Taste And Recipe

This is an amazing spiced tropical juice flavored cocktail. Its actually one of my favorite tiki drinks and in my opinion is much better than many of the more popular tiki cocktails. The honey and juice perfectly match the strength of the rum and the spice of the bitters. Not much to say other than this is a must try and one you will most likely make again.

Making a PI YI With a Fresh Pineapple

The original way to prepare this was to scoop out a small pineapple and use the inside, blend it, and use the juice of it in the drink. Once the drink was shaken and done it is poured back into the hallowed out pineapple. To keep with tradition I cut a pineapple and used a small bit of blended fruit as the juice for this drink and it turned out really good. I did not pour it back in since I want the drink to be visible in a glass. Also I ended up eating most of the pineapple on its own, and a hallowing out a pineapple would give me way more than 1 oz of juice. My assumption is all the extra fruit and juice from the fresh pineapple was used in other drinks too at Don The Beachcombers.

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Pi Yi Cocktail – Vintage Donn Beach Tiki Cocktail

0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

181

kcal
ABV

17%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Pi Yi.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice

  • 1 oz Pineapple Juice

  • 1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup

  • 1 tsp Honey Syrup

  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

  • 1 oz White Rum

  • 2/3 oz Gold Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into a shaker and add a scoop of shaved ice. If you do not have shaved ice then crushed ice will do.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Pour the whole shaker into the serving glass. Ice and all.

Notes

English Milk Punch

English Milk Punch – 1763 Benjamin Franklin Recipe

History Of Clarified Milk Punch

The common origin story to this cocktail is provided in David Wondrich’s book “Punch” is the Clarified Milk Punch was invented by Mary Rockett. This cocktail seems to have been invented as a way of preserving milk punch by curdling and removing the parts that go bad and would turn the drink. The alcohol and milk fats protect the drink with epic stories of it lasting far longer than one would expect it to. Prior to refrigeration that was hard to do. The recipe I have provided here is the classic Benjamin Franklin English milk punch from 1763.

The Clarified or English milk punch starts to fade in the middle of the 1800s, and by the 1900s there isn’t a single book that mentions it. The invention of commercial refrigeration in the mid 1800s meant people could now get their drinks cold even in the middle of summer. Hot cocktails, room temperature cocktails, and preserved cocktails like this, fall out of favor to chilled drinks. Jerry Thomas give one of the last printed recipes for it and his is very similar to Benjamin Franklin’s recipe.

What Does English Milk Punch Taste Like

This taste absolutely nothing like what you would expect and it should not taste as good as it does. English milk punch is refreshing, full body and taste like a fancy sparkling lemonade but without the bubbles. You would never guess this was the byproduct of cheese. I’m usually pretty good at tasting something and guessing what is in it, or reading a list of ingredients and knowing what the final product will taste like, not all the time but enough, but I was completely and totally wrong when guessing what English milk punch would taste like. This is a fantastic drink that blew me away, and one I will make many more times.

Now just for fun I also tried the leftover cheese strained out of the milk punch and that taste EXACTLY like what you would expect. It was awful. A sweet and sour, booze cheese and it was so gross. If you make this, which you should, try both the cheese and the punch and you will be amazed they both came from the same mixture.

How Do You Make Clear Milk

By making cheese of course. Milk is made mostly of 4 things, water, protein (cheese), fat , and lactose (sugar) and by denaturing/cooking the protein you are able to isolate it out. Cooking can be done 2 ways, with heat, or acid. Typically when making cheese you keep the protein part and throw out the whey, but this cocktail reverses that and instead you save is the whey (water, fat, sugar) part. By removing the cloudy white protein, what is left is the clear pale yellow liquid.

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English Milk Punch – 1763 Benjamin Franklin Recipe

0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

15

servings
Calories

180

kcal
ABV

19%

Total time

2

hours 

Learn how to make English Milk Punch.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 Cup Simple Syrup

  • 2 Cups Water

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg

  • 3 Cups Brandy

  • 1.5 Cups Milk

Directions

  • Using a knife cut the zest of 5 lemons and juice the lemons to the required volume. Set juice aside. add the shaved zest to the brandy and let it sit for 24 hours. After 24 hours remove and discard the lemon zest.
  • Add the sugar to the brandy and stir till dissolved. Now set brandy aside.
  • In a large pot combine water, nutmeg, and milk and bring to 100f/37c.
  • Once milk has warmed turn off heat and add the lemon juice and brandy. Stir the mixture for 30 seconds then let it sit for 2 hours undisturbed.
  • Line a mesh strainer with a large paper coffee filter and strain out cheese, letting the clear whey run into a large pot. Bottle, refrigerate and serve cold.
Tom and Jerry

Tom & Jerry – Original 1862 Jerry Thomas Recipe

Tom & Jerry Batter

Tom and Jerry batter is basically an egg yolk and Christmas spice flavored mousse. It’s actually not too bad and pretty good on its own. Now I will say that the recipe here is the original mid 1800s Jerry Thomas recipe and you will most likely not find anyone who makes it this way. Most every recipe has been updated a bit an now include butter or heavy creams, additional spices and are much denser. Those versions of Tom and Jerry batter can be bought in stores during the holiday season in the upper midwest, where the drink is still pretty popular. I won’t lie, the more modern butter version is better for making the drink but the old fashion mousse one is great if you just wanted to dig in and eat it as is. Which I did do, I made the drink for the photo and then ate the whole mousse by myself. Your arteries might not last the night if you tried to eat the butter and heavy cream ones with a spoon.

Tom & Jerry Batter Recipe

This is actually 1/2 the amount of the recipe printed in his 1962 book. The original recipe makes a massive amount of batter so I cut it in half. If you need more just double this recipe.

  • 6 Eggs
  • 4 cups (1 kg) of sugar
  • 1 oz (30 mLs) gold rum
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 g) ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 g) ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 g) ground cinnamon

Separate the egg whites and yolks. Add the spices and sugar to the egg whites and beat the whites to a stiff meringue. Beat the egg yolks to thin them out a bit and then fold them in with the meringue.

Eggnog vs. Tom & Jerry

The Tom and Jerry is often compared to a lighter eggnog but it all depends on which recipe of a Tom and Jerry you are comparing to which recipe of eggnog. If you are comparing a store bought Tom and Jerry to store bough eggnog, then yes, they do taste similar. Most eggnogs today are made with cooked eggs and heavy cream and the result is a thick boozy custard. Its a very heavy drink and a Tom and Jerry with heated milk is much lighter with a similar in flavor.

For the sake of comparing apples to apples, if you compare a mid 1800s eggnog recipe to this mid 1800s Tom and Jerry recipe then they are completely different. This original Tom and Jerry recipe taste as if a hot toddy and a cappuccino had a baby. The top has a nice foam to it similar to a cappuccino but the warm liquid taste like an old fashion style hot toddy. A mid 1800s, no cook, eggnog taste like a cool rich milk punch. Very flavorful but with a normal milk like body, not like the viscus ones most of us know. So to sum it up the modern version of both drinks are similar, with the Tom and Jerry being a warm thinner version of eggnog, but the older version of both drinks I provide here are totally different.

Honestly I didn’t care for this drink all that much. I followed the recipe to a T and I found the drink a bit too light, not bad, but I personally found it flat. Although my wife loved it. She felt the flavor and body were great and the foam on top reminded here of a cappuccino. Traditionally the drink uses warm water but warm milk taste better and made the drink more appealing to me. Try making one with water and one with milk and see which version you prefer.

History Of The Tom & Jerry

Jerry Thomas most likely invented the Tom & Jerry since there is no reference to it till Jerry Thomas published his recipe. The cocktail is often credited to being invented by him anyway. The story goes that he named the drink after his two pet mice, Thomas and Jerry, which he named after himself. Even Savoy credits him with inventing it and the Savoy is pretty on point.

While the Tom & Jerry seems to fade a bit in the 1930s its still in the larger cocktail books up through the 1970s (I try to limit this project to only published literature from 1970 and earlier). Victor Bergeron in his 1972 book even gives a single serve recipe if one needs to be made on the spot. The Tom & Jerry is a very preparation and labor intensive drink so I feel this is relegated to be more of a home holiday party cocktail and I have never once seen this at a bar ever.

When I first heard of this cocktail I wondered if the iconic MGM cat and mouse cartoon Tom and Jerry were named after it. Unfortunately no one knows if the cartoon famous Cat and Mouse duo Tom and Jerry were named after the drink, but it would be quite the coincidence. Joseph Barbara, of Hanna Barbara, wrote in his autobiography “My Life in Toons” how they came up with the names Tom and Jerry. “We left the choice of names to chance. We invited studio personnel to write down pairs of names on pieces of paper and toss them into a hat. We shook the hat and drew Tom and Jerry, which had been submitted by an animator named John Carr. He won fifty dollars.” Maybe John Carr knew the drink from a holiday party, who knows, they are all long gone now.

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Tom & Jerry – Original 1862 jerry Thomas Recipe

0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

192

kcal
ABV

10%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Tom & Jerry Cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Tom & Jerry Batter

  • 2 oz Brandy

  • 4 – 5 oz Water

Directions

  • Drop batter into a ceramic or heat resistant mug.
  • Add warm water and stir till the batter is completely incorporated into the water.
  • Lastly add the spirit and give a couple last stirs to finish mixing the drink.
  • Garnish with a dusting of nutmeg.
Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy – Classic 18th Century Style Toddy

History Of The Hot Toddy

A lot of these old drinks that we still make today are actually really hard to find information on. Hot buttered rum, hot ale flip, buttered beer, toddies, etc. Most actual written recipes are around the mid 1800s and later. Books were mostly published for histories and stories, skills and trades were just taught from master to apprentice. There were a few but not like there is today. One tries to piecemeal as much as they can together.

In a 1769 book “A Dissertation On The Oleum Palmae Christi” by Peter Canvane he mentions adding medicines to “warm milk punch, common punch, or toddy, in which a hot poker has been quenched.” as ways of administering medicine to those who complain about the taste. (All the really old stuff has the long “S” graphic but I change it to a normal s here, it looks like an f but its just another symbol for s that we don’t use anymore. Thats why the Declaration of Independence looks like they spelled everything wrong.) In an 1783 fictional book “Smyth’s Tour of The United States” by J.F.D. Smyth, he notes that his character likes to “take a draught of Bumbo, or toddy, a liquor composed of water, sugar, rum and nutmeg.” There was also a kinda funny romance story from 1741 I found, where a beautiful lady walks into the kitchen and ask the lord of the house for a toddy. “Would you like it hot, or cold? warm I replied.”

All silliness aside the point I am trying to get at is, there is no actual formal recipe to make a toddy but the parts and qualities of a toddy. There are as many toddies as there are people. What matters are the parts, so based on the works I referenced lets brake those parts down.

  1. The first reference points to the colonial American way of heating up drinks. Not by using a stove but by using a hot fireplace poker often called a toddy rod or loggerhead. In a home setting a stove probably was used as it was already fired up for cooking food but in a tavern it was more efficient to simply place iron rods in the already running fireplace. Rather than having a stove run all night just to be ready for the occasional warm drink they could simply dip the toddy rod into the drinks people request warmed.
  2. The second reference give us the ingredient of the toddy. The 4 parts are water, sugar, rum, and nutmeg. Now any spice will do but it is worth noting that even in the early 1862 Bartenders guide only nutmeg is mentioned when adding spice toddies.
  3. The third reference lets us know that toddies were served both hot and cold and sometimes warm. Now I am willing to bet that a cold toddy was just not a heated one. Commercial refrigeration was not invented till the 1850s so access to blocks of ice was limited mostly to business. and while they did have ice houses that saved ice for most of the summer (some stayed in use up to the 1930s), something as special as ice was not going to be wasted on a single drink.

So for this hot toddy recipe I will stick to those points. Using only rum, water, sugar and nutmeg. Heated up with a toddy rod. Almost every recipe you find has lemon juice added it to add to its medicinal qualities but since that is not traditional to the 18th or 19th century I will leave it out and stick to the classic structure. On a fun side note, did you know the original name for the muddler was actually the toddy stick. Thats right, It was based off the pestle from the mortar and pestle but made of wood so it wouldn’t shatter glass cups. The shape was perfect for smashing together fruits, spices and sugar cubes.

Do Hot Toddies Actually Help You Feel Better When You Are Sick

So the short answer is, I guess… sure. The long answer is it depends on what ailment you hope to relieve. Western medicine has come a long way since the 18th century but there are three reasons a person makes a hot toddy today other than it just tasting good. 1). When they have a soar throat. 2). When their sinuses are congested and 3). It just feels nice to cozy up with one during the winter. The main health benefit from a hot toddy comes from honey, if you use sugar then you are missing most of the benefits of a hot toddy. Honey is actually a pretty awesome nectar and has shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. In some lab studies if is found to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines, this combined with the warm steam from the drink can help reduce congestion as that is a inflammation of the sinuses. Or you can pop some Sudafed during the day and Benadryl at night as those are some of the present day gold standards of over the counter anti-inflammation medication.

Ignoring mechanical irritation of ones throat like screaming a bunch, the most common reason for a sore throat is infection and the bodies natural response to infection is inflammation. So again its honey with that anti-inflammatory response, or you could just pop an ibuprofen or naproxen as they would be a more effective treatment. And the last point is it just feels good to cozy up with one, and it does. Being cozy just makes you feel happy, but did you also know that nutmeg is a hallucinogen. The dose is so low that its hard to credit any effect on the brain to the nutmeg but it does contain myristicin which in large doses can make people trip. Maybe that good feeling is just a psychedelic nut and alcohol induced feeling. Some people are very sensitive to nutmeg and the active chemicals in it and get pounding headache from even the smallest amount. So don’t ever use too much nutmeg and don’t use it for the purpose of getting high and be careful as it can be dangerous in large doses. Make wise choices.

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Hot Toddy – Classic 18th Century Style Toddy

0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

180

kcal
ABV

10%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a vintage style hot toddy.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Honey Syrup

  • 2 oz Gold Rum

  • 5 oz Water

  • light dusting Nutmeg

Directions

  • Combine honey and rum into heat resistant or ceramic mug.
  • Either add hot water and stir or add room temperature water and dip a hot toddy rod in. Stirring the with the rod as the water boils.
  • Garnish with a dusting of nutmeg.
Hot Ale Flip

Hot Ale Flip – Early Colonial Hot Beer Cocktail

A Short History Of Cooking Beer

Before the days of bottling and refrigeration, fresh beer had a very limited shelf life and having to waste any brought a tear to many peoples eyes. So like any food item on its way out, people tried to find ways to get just a couple more uses out it. I’m sure you do this all the time. Strawberries are starting to get soft, make a smoothie. Worried about your gigantic bag of onions getting too old, make French onion soup. There are lots of things you can do before food turns and during the 17th century cooking beer with honey and spices was one way to mask the flavor of a beer going bad.

Earlier forms of the hot ale flip we simple hot ale and honey drinks and if you want to find these recipes you’ll need to look in old cookbooks. One such recipe from the 1669 book “The Closet” by Sir Kenelme Digbie is an ale with honey recipe specifically for beer that is about to go bad. Sir Kenelme Digbie described cooking old beer with honey would would help the turned old beer and “set the whole a working a fresh, and casting out foulness”

Some very old books had tips and tricks for old food but with the invention of commercial refrigeration in the mid 1800s that kinda stopped being such a big problem. Most of those recipes either got lost to time but many still live on as things you eat normally. Fruit pies, jellies, alcohol, pickles, hell even banana bread. Hence why most recipes specifically call for nasty old soft brown bananas no one wants to eat. It’s for flavor but it comes from much older tradition. Old meat was a little harder to repurpose and was something you needed to persevere before it started to turn. Although old meat could be used at bait to catch fresh meat or go fishing and once food went really bad it could just be composted.

What Does It Taste Like

Depending on the beer you use, these can be really really good, or really really bad. To make it more difficult its almost impossible to know which beers are good as a flip and which are not, without actually trying them. A beer you think would be good warmed with spices, whiskey, and sugar, like a super cool peanut butter stout, are awful. The really flavorful beers just seem to turn too bitter, but lighter more drinkable beers like boston lager and Budweiser are amazing. The only way to know is to try. I started doing a whole YouTube series on which beers taste good hot and which taste bad and my goal is to try every beer I can get my hands on hot. I have hot beer tier list on my website and so far my favorite one is hot fat tire. I like fat tire to begin with but hot it was amazing.

Keeping in mind that this is a way of making old beers taste good again. I opened a bottle of beer, poured it, set it on the counter for a day, and it made a better flip than a fresh bottle of the same beer. The fresh beer taste better cold but the old beer taste better flipped. My mind was blown. No of these results were expected. In fact I believed the opposite to be true of what the actual results ended up being. I only tried it with this one beer (boston lager since I really liked it flipped to begin with) but I feel I should do the same experiment for others. Doing this will likely make me gain quite few pounds in the next year but I think it will be fun.

What Is A Flip

No one really knows where the term flip came from. Some guesses are that it was used to describe the bubbles leaving the drink. Like the bubbles flipped from the inside to the outside, or the drink was so strong it would make you flip out of your chair. No one really knows but I have my own idea. Some 18th century and earlier books provided ways to repurpose food that was going bad or loosing its freshness. I wrote a bit about that in the paragraphs above. It is often referred to as the food or drinks turning. My guess is the term flip was a cleaver play on words to describe making a turned beer taste good again. Again I have no evidence of this. Its just a feeling.

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Hot Ale Flip – Early Colonial Hot Beer Cocktail

0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

330

kcal
ABV

9%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a hot ale flip.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Dark Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz Gold Rum

  • 12 oz Amber Ale

  • Light dusting Nutmeg

Directions

  • Add rum and simple syrup to a large beer glass.
  • Stir rum and syrup together and next add beer.
  • Dip a hot toddy rod into the drink and stir with the rod as the drink boils.
  • Garnish with a dusting of nutmeg.
Champagne Cocktail

Champagne Cocktail – Classic 1862 Jerry Thomas Recipe

History Of The Champagne Cocktail

Cocktails are very much an American thing as a cocktail like this would never exist in France or Italy. if someone added a raw sugar cube, bitters and a lemon peel to champagne they would be arrested. On a side note the British are big into cocktails too and have made an equal contribution to the field but they were introduced to making them by Americans. William Tarling, one of the first presidents of the UKBG back in the 1930s, cites Jerry Thomas as having introduced the British to American saloon style drinks with his 1859 UK cocktail exhibit. William Tarling wrote that Jerry Thomas used solid silver tools valued at 1000 pounds in 1850 or a little over 100,000 today, but back to my point.

The champagne cocktail was most likely invented by Jerry Thomas and is used as a way to add extra presentation to champagne for toasting. The bitters provides a really nice earthy and herbal element to the cocktail, but the sugar cube doesn’t add much sweetness. The biggest contribution of the sugar cube is to give the carbonation in the Champagne something to atomize on and make the drink an overwhelming display of carbonation. Like dropping a mentos into a bottle of coke. Flavor wise the lemon peel adds a lot of flavor and if you express it over the top it coats the top of the glass with a wonderful lemon smell and flavor. If you’re looking for a simple way to elevate your presentation during a toast, the champagne cocktail is a fun one to try.

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Discover what classic cocktails you can make right now with the free and easy to use Vintage American Cocktail app.

Champagne Cocktail – Classic 1862 Jerry Thomas Recipe

0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

334

kcal
ABV

10%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Champagne Cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 5 oz Sparkling Wine

  • 1 Sugar Cube

  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Directions

  • Pour sparkling wine into a champagne flute.
  • Dash the sugar cube with angostura bitters turning a brownish red color.
  • Drop the sugar cube into the glass and garnish with an expressed lemon peel.

Notes

Tamagozake

Tamagozake – Traditional Japanese Cold Remedy

How Does The Tamagozake Taste

The Tamagozake is a Japanese cold remedy drink kinda like how the hot toddy is in the United States. While I love hot toddies, I’m not the biggest fan of this drink. It’s both sweet and kinda tart and the flavor is not to my liking. I tried making this several times with slightly different proportions and this is the best I could come up with. Maybe it’s just because I’m not the biggest fan of sake and this drink would taste better with another wine or spirit but it’s an acquired taste. Don’t get me wrong, I bet if I was sick and a sweet little Japanese grandma made me this it would be amazing. Unfortunately as a man in his mid 30s I do not possess that level of supreme skill yet, but it does give me a new cocktail to practice getting better with. For now I will simply provide what I believe to be the standard traditional recipe. No one can cook as good as a grandma.

How To Prepare This Properly

To make this cocktail you should be familiar with tempering and you must have a whisk and a heat proof container with a handle (a basic coffee mug works). Tempering is combining two ingredients of different temperatures where the colder ingredient cooks at a low temperature. The goal is to combine the two without cooking the colder ingredient. In this case you are adding hot sake to cold eggs in a way that gradually increases the temperature of the eggs without cooking them. You do that by having one hand whisk, the other hand slowly pour, the bowl staying in place.

  1. Whisk the egg and sugar till the mixture has thinned out and runs loose. Like a really well mixed egg for scrambled eggs.
  2. While whisking very slowly pour the hot sake into the egg mix.
  3. Continue pouring at a constant rate till the sake and egg are mixed together.
  4. The final result should be a light semi opaque yellow with a small foam on top. Like the photo.

The truth is you can’t add a hot liquid to eggs without cooking them. The egg parts the liquid first touches will obviously absorb most of that heat, but by constantly agitating the mixture you prevent the cooked egg proteins from bonding together and forming clumps.

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Discover what classic cocktails you can make right now with the free and easy to use Vintage American Cocktail app.

Tamagozake – Traditional Japanese Cold Remedy

0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: Japanese
Servings

1

servings
Calories

332

kcal
ABV

13%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a tamagozake.

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Egg

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 5 oz Hot Sake

Directions

  • In a bowl crack a whole egg and add simple syrup.
  • Whisk together until the egg runs thin.
  • Very slowly pour the warmed sake (113f/45c) into the egg mixture while continuously whisking.
  • Pour the final mixture into a glass and serve.

Notes