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Tag Archives: pisco

Saturday, July 23, 2011 – The Patio Swim Club at the Twilight Lounge

Summer is in full swing at the Patio Swim Club and that means it was time to break out the smoker and BBQ some pork shoulder.  With Paula and Cookie here for the weekend, this was the perfect day to do it.

Producing my eastern North Carolina style pork butt is an all day affair.  I started at 8am, getting the smoker out and getting the fire going.  After years of experimenting I’ve settled on lump hardwood charcoal as my base fuel with chunks of hickory to provide the smoke and flavor.  With the fire going, it was time to get back into the kitchen and prep my butt. 

I unwrapped the pork (thanks to the Germantown House of Sausage) and patted it dry then went to work with my rub.  Yes, it’s my own recipe.  No, I won’t publish it.  Yes, it’s good!  This part is critical and I make sure I really work the rub into the pork so that I’ll end up with a great crust on the butt when I’m done with the smoker.

It's All in the Rub!

With that, all I had to do was wait for the smoker to get up to about 200 degrees – and I didn’t have to wait long.  With that, the pork butt went on the grill, the cover was shut and now it was 8 to 10 hours of patience and fire tending.

Patience is the Key Now

Of course, nothing helps the patience like a good cocktail and some poolside fun.  Normally when I smoke I have bourbon – with cola, or maybe Mountain Dew (that’s what we did in the Carolina’s) or just with some ice.  However, as I was reading the Wall Street Journal after putting the butt in the smoker, I found an interesting recipe that used Pisco.  I’ve had a bottle around since New Year’s Eve (thanks again Christian and Meredith) and this seemed like a great way to use some of it up.

 
  El Capitan
  • 2 ounces Pisco
  • 2 ounces sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 1 dash aromatic bitters

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice.  Stir to combine and then pour into a rocks glass.

I used Cesar Pisco and Peychaud’s bitters in this drink, and enjoyed it immensely.  The flavor of the Pisco comes through, but there is a strong resemblence to a Manhattan, especially with as much sweet vermouth as is in this.  The orange bitters (from Agnostura) also make themselves known.  The whole cocktail comes together nicely, and since it was on the rocks, it was perfect for sipping as I tended my smoker and enjoyed the pool.

As for the pork butt – well, it was perfect if I say so myself.

A Little Bit of Carolina Heaven

Moist and spicy, but not too hot, we all enjoyed this along with beans, slaw and corn bread Gwen put together. 

 
Cheers and bon appetit!

 

Day 265, Cocktails 265 & 266

There’s a port on a western bay
And it serves a hundred ships a day
Lonely sailors pass the time away
And talk about their homes

And there’s a girl in this harbor town
And she works layin’ whiskey down
They say “Brandy, fetch another round”
She serves them whiskey and wine

The sailors say “Brandy, you’re a fine girl” (you’re a fine girl)
“What a good wife you would be” (such a fine girl)
“Yeah your eyes could steal a sailor from the sea”
(dooda-dit-dooda), (dit-dooda-dit-dooda-dit)

This 70’s classic by Looking Glass seems as good a way as any to introduce a week of Wisconsin’s favorite, brandy.  More brandy is consumed (by far) in Wisconsin than any other state (40% of Korbel’s total output of brandy ends up here), but the bar at the hotel where one of my friends stayed did run out of brandy, along with Miller Lite.)  So with winter in full swing and several bottles of brandy in the Twilight Lounge liquor cabinet it seemed like a good time to explore this Wisconsin favorite.

  Saratoga Cocktail

  • 2oz brandy
  • 1/2 oz pineapple juice
  • 1/8 oz lemon juice
  • 1/8 oz maraschino liqueur
  • 1 dash Agnosturo bitters

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a cherry.

I amped the pineapple up from 1/4 oz to 1/2 oz after making my first one.  The pineapple just seemed lost without the extra 1/4 oz.  My modified drink was good with a very complex and layered flavor profile.  The brandy, maraschino and pineapple all blend harmoniously.  Towards the end it did start to get a little syrupy sweet the way some drinks with pineapple can get, but overall I thought this was a winner.  By the way, for those of you keeping score at home I used Korbel brandy and Luxardo maraschino liqueur.

The Saratoga on the left and Pisco Punch on the right.

For my next brandy drink I decided on the Pisco Punch.  Pisco is an acquired taste.  It is a brandy distilled from white muscat grapes and has a sharp flavor to it, somewhat similar to kirschwasser.  So why choose it?  Well, I had a bottle left over from New Year’s Eve courtesy of Christian and Meredith and had some pineapple juice left from the Saratoga.

  Pisco Punch

  • 2 oz Pisco brandy
  • 1/2 oz pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 2 dashes Angosturo bitters

Combine all the ingredients with 1/2 cup of cracked ice in a blender.  Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled wine glass.  Garnish with a cherry or lime slice.

I had to let this one grow on me.  This drink, although it looks frilly, is not.  Between the pisco and the bitters it is a sour son of a gun.  As I expected, it was a complete no go for Gwen.

Well, that’s it for today.  Off to watch the Packers with all my brandy swillin’ friends at Ivee’s!

Cheers!