We awoke to a winter, ummm, what’s the opposite of wonderland? Our snow storm turned out to be a glazing of ice, covered with sleet pellets. No chance for a snowman and making ice and slush angels is way less fun than it sounds. So we spent the day mostly indoors. Sure, I’d venture out from time to time to go for a walk around the property or down to the end of the driveway to check out the ice on the roads, look and see if anyone had run off the curve lately, write my name in the sleet, you know the important stuff. Now that the sun has set, I figure it is time for a drink, so in the hopes that something from more temperate climes will warm our hearts, won’t you please join me as we stand and make the Port Royal.
This one comes to us from Smuggler’s Cove, the amazing San Francisco tiki bar by Martin Cate, who also wrote the book of the same name. The place is a mecca for tiki lovers and the book covers most everything you need to know about this class of drinks and the history of this unusually long-lived cultural phenomenon. It has fallen in and out of favor over the years, but tiki culture has been with us since 1933 when Don the Beachcomber fired up his flash blenders in Hollywood for the first time, and it is still going strong. This is a different drink from the equally wonderful Port Royal Punch, which I am sure we will try at a later date. I have wanted to make this one for a while with its savory ingredients, but could not be bothered to actually make the Jamaican Jerk syrup until today. You’ve got to do something with a slush day, right?
Speaking of savory ingredients you are going to need to make some Jamaican Jerk Syrup before we get started. There are lots of recipes to make it from scratch, but I go the easy route and bring 1/2 a cup of sugar almost to a boil with 1/2 a cup of water before adding two teaspoons of Grace Jamaican Jerk Marinade. Stir well and let sit for half an hour or so and strain. It will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. With that done, grab your tins and pop in 1 1/2 ounces of blended lightly aged rum, I went with Appleton Estate; 1/2 an ounce of Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum, 3/4 of an ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice and 3/4 of an ounce of Jerk Simple Syrup. Add ice and give it a good shake to the sounds of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” for no particular reason other than I wanted to hear it tonight. Make sure it is the live version though. When your drink is well mixed, double strain into a some chilled stemware, give it five drops of Hellfire Tincture on top, I actually opted for my homemade Habañero Shrub. Garnish with a jerk seasoning encrusted lime wedge and serve.
This is very bit as good as I expected. Some times you just read the recipe and know it is going to be something special. That jerk syrup adds a wonderfully complex savory sweetness to this one that is hard to describe, but is oh so good. I love that heat from the pepper too. I often add Habañero or Hellfire to my daiquiris. There is something about a fiery bite on the end of an ice cold sip that I just love.
So that how I spent my slush day. Making ingredients for cocktails to come and limiting myself to just making one style tonight. Other than that, a bit of light reading, way too much time spent in video games practicing my Ace Combat skills and I finally broke down and joined the family to watch Paddington Bear, which I enjoyed greatly. It was cool. As the afternoon slowly faded into evening, the freezing rain came back and now we have a nice rink out front to compliment the worryingly heavy and growing ice load on the trees and power lines. While I was making this drink the county decided to scare us all by making our phones scream in order to remind us to stay home, since it was slick and there are trees and power lines down. Good thing, I was just about to hitch up the sled dogs and pop out to the pub. Ah well, no sense loosing sleep about things you can’t control. I think I’ll just cuddle up with my drink and maybe play some cards with the family or something wholesome like that.
Sometimes the world says, you are gonna slow down and take it easy today and I did not even fight it. Of course, it looks like we get to take it easy tomorrow too, so we will see how positive I am after the second day. To be fair, we’ve all been training for this for the last year, staying home, cut off from the world, only able to communicate through impassioned shouts into the darkness of the internet void; this should be fairly easy. Y’all stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.