Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Vintage Light Summer Wine Cocktails

Wine Cocktails
The following is excerpted from "The Pacific Wine and Spirit Review", November 30, 1900 and is a nice set of old ideas for some light cocktails using wine.

In hot weather it is not good to drink too much of anything, but the drinks suggested here, if moderately used, will surely be beneficial, and they may be taken by even ladies of the very finest fiber. A Claret or Rhine wine rickey, Rhine wine high-ball, claret high-ball, rye high-ball made with cider instead of carbonic water, and a Rhine wine punch made with the juice of a lime are all delicious.

Claret Rickey
To make a claret rickey, squeeze the juice of half a lime into a high-ball glass; add a lump of ice and a wineglass of claret; fill with carbonic water and stir well. Be sure to instruct the mixer to be sure to wash the limes or lemons before using them for rickeys or sours.

Rhine Wine Rickey
A Rhine wine rickey is made in the same way, only Rhine wine is used instead of claret.

Rhine Wine High-Ball
To make a Rhine wine high-ball, add a lump of ice to a glass of wine and fill with carbonic water and stir thoroughly.

Brandy Frappe
A brandy and Benedictine frappe is made in a cocktail glass filled with shaved ice. Add half a liquor glass of Benedictine and the same of good brandy. Sip it through a short straw.

Burgundy and Strawberries
Another drink that will be found extremely delicious, for ladies especially, is made as follows: Take as many goblets as there are guests and crush in each five strawberries (I am a great believer in crushed strawberry; it gives, when well done, a delicious flavor to a drink), add a lump of ice, then half fill with burgundy and the balance with apollinaris or white rock; stir well. The juice of a lime in a glassful of equal parts of champagne and claret, with a piece of ice, is also very palatable.

Claret and Rum Punch
For the man of moderate means, who likes to entertain his friends in hot weather at his country cottage, the following will be found a refreshing mixture. Melt a half pound of loaf sugar in a pint of warm water, pour it into a bowl or other vessel, add one gallon of good California claret and one pint of Jamaica rum, one square piece of ice, sliced oranges, lemons, pineapple and mint, then spray in three syphons of carbonic and stir well.

One can entertain a company of ten a whole evening on this beverage for about two dollars. Be sure, though, to buy claret from some dealer of established reputation.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Wines of Tenerife, 1699

The following is excerpted from "A Voyage to New Holland Etc.", 1729, by Captain William Dampier, Third Edition. The book describes "The Canary Islands, the Isles of Mayo and St. Jago." amongst other topics. This section on Malmsey and Verdona wine from the island of Tenerife (today a popular holiday destination) is particularly interesting.

The true malmsey wine grows in this island; and this here is said to be the best of its kind in the world. Here is also canary wine, and verdona, or green wine. The canary grows chiefly on the west side of the island; and therefore is commonly sent to Oratavia; which being the chief seaport for trade in the island, the principal English merchants reside there, with their consul; because we have a great trade for this wine.

I was told that that town is bigger than Laguna; that it has but one church, but many convents: that the port is but ordinary at best and is very bad when the north-west winds blow. These norwesters give notice of their coming by a great sea that tumbles in on the shore for some time before they come, and by a black sky in the north-west. Upon these signs ships either get up their anchors, or slip their cables and put to sea, and ply off and on till the weather is over. Sometimes they are forced to do so 2 or 3 times before they can take in their lading; which it is hard to do here in the fairest weather: and for fresh water they send, as I have said, to Santa Cruz.

Verdona is green, strong-bodied wine, harsher and sharper than canary. It is not so much esteemed in Europe, but is exported to the West Indies, and will keep best in hot countries; for which reason I touched here to take in some of it for my voyage. This sort of wine is made chiefly on the east side of the island, and shipped off at Santa Cruz.