Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pear Necessities Punch with Incentive Vodka, Thatcher's Organic Apple Ginger Liqueur and Black Star Farms Spirit of Pear Brandy

Look for the pear necessities
The simple pear necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the pear necessities
Old Mother Nature's recipes
That bring the pear necessities of life

Forget about your worries and your strife and celebrate the Holidays with the Pear Necessities Punch, Pure Michigan style. This decadent punch possesses five layers of flavor profiles, beginning with a base of Incentive's sweet, bold Michigan-grown corn vodka, followed by the gentle and warming spice flavorings of Thatcher's Apple Spice Ginger Liqueur, and finishing with the soft and elegant flavors of Black Star Farms Spirit of Pear Brandy.  Cinnamon, apples, pears, honey and orange play beautifully in the punch bowl with these artisan-crafted, Michigan-produced spirits.  Cheers!

Pear Necessities Punch


1 - 750 ml bottle Incentive Vodka
1 - 375 ml bottle Black Star Farms Spirit of Pear Brandy
1 - 375 ml bottle Thatcher's Apple Spice Ginger Liqueur
32 oz. Pear Cider
32 oz. Apple Cider
12 oz. Spiced Orange Syrup
8-10 oz. Fresh squeezed lemon juice (taste dependent)
2 Cinnamon sticks

Add cinnamon sticks to cider and allow to sit overnight.  Remove when ready to serve the punch.  Combine ingredients in a large punch bowl.  Stir well.  Add ice 30 minutes prior to serving to chill, and add necessary water for balance.  If using a block of ice or an ice mold, add 6-8 oz. of water for proper balance. 
Makes approximately 30 - 5 oz. punch servings.

Spiced Orange Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup honey 

16 oz. Sweet Orange Marmalade

3 Valencia oranges

1/2 cup sugar

2 cinnamon sticks

Heat water over medium heat, and slowly stir in honey. Once the honey is dissolved, add orange marmalade, stirring until dissolved. Add the juice of 3 oranges and continue stirring over medium heat. Add sugar and continue stirring. Once syrup reaches a slow rolling boil, remove from heat and add 2 cinnamon sticks. Allow syrup to cool, remove cinnamon sticks after 20 minutes. Fine strain syrup into a storage bottle and refrigerate for up to three weeks.
A Little History. . .

"In the 18th century, drinking was the most popular of all tavern recreations...The kind of drink offered by an individual tavern was a factor in its location, the availability of supplies, and the economic status and aspirations of its tavern keeper. Drinking habits did not differ significantly from colony to colony, where the majority of the inhabitants were British...Rum was the most popular distilled liquor of the time...Punch was a combination of then luxurious ingredients. The drink was made using the rinds and juice of imported lemons, limes, and even oranges, commonly mixed with rum, and white or brown sugar...Lime punch was the most popular version of the drink...punch was served warm and sold in taverns by the bowl...Toddy--rum mixed with sugar and water--and sangre--a mixture of wine or beer sweetened with sugar and flavored with nutmeg--were also dispensed by the bowl...Wine, imported from Spain and Germany, was also served in taverns, but was not widely available outside the cities...Madeira, served during the meal, was the most expensive and popular wine. The consumption of wine, like punch, was limited to the more affluent. Many colonials drank cheaper, fermented beverages made locally. Cider (hard cider) was sold by the jug...Beer was either imported from England or locally brewed...Brandy was usually imported, but native varieties were sold, made from peaches, apples, or cherries. Homemade liquors gained popularity during the Revolution when the importation of alcohol, beer, and wine was halted."

---Early American Taverns: For the Entertainment of Friends and Strangers, Kym S. Rice for Fraunces Tavern Museum [Regnery Gateway: Chicago] 1983 (p. 85-96)

"A variety of alcoholic liquors was served in the provincial taverns. They were rated by the gallon, quart, pint, gill, and half-gill but often were sold by the bow, nip, or dram... Rum generally came from the West Indies or New England...Cider might be the 'common Carolina' variety or it might be imported from England or New England. It was sometimes designated as 'summer' and 'winter' cider and rated in quality from 'good' and best.' Also popular were beer, brandy and wine. Varieties of beer included those from Europe...from the colonies...Ordinaries offered homemade peach and apple brandy as well as the imported drink...Mixed drinks, particularly punch, greatly appealed to the colonials. Punch, consisting of five ingredients, usually contained rum with 'loaf' or brown sugar. Another favorite was the toddy, made of rum, brandy, or whiskey..."

---"The Colonial Tavern: A Gathering Place in the Albemarle [North Carolina]," Alan D. Watson, A Taste of the Past: Early Foodways of the Albemarle Region [North Carolina], James C. Jordan III guest exhibition curator [Museum of the Albemarle:Elizabeth City NC] 1991 (p. 36-41)

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