Lesson Two: Recipes

Chapter Five: Punch In The Glass, aka The Knickerbocker

Supporting Cast:
Mai Tai

The Knickerbocker

The great-granddaddy of all tiki drinks was born, as far as we can tell, on a small island—a former Dutch colony which had for a time been held by the English—located where the Atlantic Ocean meets the placid, green waters which the native Len’api Indians called “Ma Ni Noc” and we today call “New York Harbor.” Okay, so perhaps the Knickerbocker’s origins lie far from the swaying palms and white-sand beaches of the tropics. But if a drink compounded from rum, lime juice, and fruity liqueurs and syrups with half a lime floating in it isn’t tropical, what is? Even if it was invented in Old New York. The Knickerbocker, which first started turning up in the 1850s, took its name from Washington Irving’s alter ego, Diedrich Knickerbocker (or one of the many New York institutions that were named after him), and its rum—then as now a light, smooth, and mellow product—from the Virgin Islands,.

2 1/2 ounces aged Virgin Islands rum
1 1/2 teaspoons raspberry syrup
1/2 teaspoon Grand Marnier
Juice of 1/2 lime (reserve the squeezed-out shell for garnish)
To finish: 3 or 4 raspberries (or any other berries that are fresh and inviting)

Shake and strain into a large tumbler full of crushed ice; garnish with the half lime shell and berries. Add straw.

Substitutions: for the rum, anything aged and golden; for the syrup, Chambord liqueur; for the Grand Marnier, any orange Curaçao.

Mai Tai

Emeryville, California—a couple square miles of little wooden houses, warehouses, docks, and factories tucked into Oakland’s armpit—is scarcely more tropical than Ma Ni Noc, and yet it’s responsible for the greatest tiki drink of them all. Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron knew what he was doing when he threw this one together back in the dark days of World War II. His Emeryville restaurant spawned an empire, and his signature drink spread to all corners of the world—at which point nobody knew what they were doing when they threw one together. Here’s T.V.’s original formula, only slightly modified, and it is good.

1 ounce dark, heavy rum (such as Inner Circle, Pusser’s, El Dorado, or Gosling’s)
1 ounce aged amber rum (such as Appleton V/X, Cruzan Estate Diamond, or Angostura 1919)
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
1/2 ounce orgeat syrup
1 ounce lime juice (reserve the squeezed-out lime halves for garnish)
To finish: sprig of mint

Shake and strain into a large tumbler full of crushed ice; garnish with a half lime shell and the mint. Add straw.

Mai Tai

Ryan Demonstrates How To Make a Mai Tai.

Mai Tai
In Tiki cup add crushed ice and set aside
In mixing glass add;
2 oz Aged Rum
1 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Orgeat Syrup
Add ice and shake
Strain into tiki cup
Add 1/4 oz Demerara Rum over top of ice
Garnish with mint sprigs, edible flower and lime wheel.

Reproduced from “Killer Cocktails” by David Wondrich.

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