Cocktail Recipes

Mix This: The Varnish’s Warm Milk Punch with Max Seaman

January 2nd, 2014 — 1:13pm

Milk-Punch_Southern-Cocktails
Last winter we had a really great version of a Warm Milk Punch on the menu. This is adapted from a 1711 recipe by Mary Rockett, which was published in the wonderful book Punch, by David Wondrich (2010). According to Wondrich, it is “the oldest extant recipe for Milk Punch.” The story goes: punch was the mixed drink of choice in the 17th and 18th century. People drank so much of it that the sour nature started causing problems. Adding milk was probably an attempt to “smooth” out the citrus. Since this recipe originated in England, it stands to reason that the hot temperature of the drink helped them through cold winter nights. According to a conversation with Mr. Wondrich, Mary Rockett also happens to be the first commercially published author in Great Britain.

We have significantly modified the original recipe: we call for 2 parts demerara rum and one part cognac rather than all “brandy;” we make an “oleo-saccharum” rather than infusing the liquor with lemon peel; we modify the ratio of sweet and sour; and we increase the amount of milk rather than also adding a lot of water.

The Varnish Warm Milk Punch
-peel 6 lemons. Set aside the fruit for juicing and place the peels in a non-reactive bowl or container. Add 6 teaspoons of superfine sugar and muddle until the sugar starts to pull out the essential oil in the peels. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. After it sits the peels will shrivel and the oils and sugar will combine into a fragrant syrup which in historical punch jargon is called an oleo-saccharum.

In the container with the oleo-saccharum, add:
- 333ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 425ml turbinado simple syrup*
- 500ml Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac or other good FULL BODIED cognac, preferably 86-94 proof
- 1 liter El Dorado 5yr rum, or other dark, rich DEMERRARA rum

Stir to combine. Then add 1850ml of scalding whole milk. Preferably raw milk, but it HAS to be whole milk. If you are finicky about raw milk, scalding it will have the same effect as pasteurization.

Once you have added the scalding milk to the mixture, stir vigorously until the curds and whey have separated. Strain the whole mixture through cheesecloth or a very fine mesh strainer such as a “chinois.”

Taste for richness and intensity of alcohol. You may want to add a little bit of filtered water if it is too rich or boozy. You may also want to add more simple syrup if the punch is too tart, or to add richness. The amount of sugar the punch needs depends on the richness and sweetness of the milk.

At this point you can serve immediate while warm – just ladle into teacups and top with a bit of freshly grated nutmeg. If you’d like to bottle it, let it sit covered in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight, until the remaining curds settle to the bottom. Siphon the liquid off the top and bottle. It can sit on the shelf at cellar temperature for a few months. From the bottle, pour into a saucepan, heat, and serve in teacups topped with nutmeg. Don’t over-heat, you will boil off the alcohol. (you can also serve it cold and it’s quite good) Refrigerate after opening.

*for turbinado simple syrup, dissolve 500g turbinado sugar (“sugar in the raw”) into 750ml hot water

Max Seaman, The Varnish, General Manager

213 Cocktail Series: Featuring The Seven Grand Old Fashioned!

June 19th, 2013 — 1:03pm

Seven Grand’s very own Dustin Newsome presents to you the world famous Old Fashioned. This delightful concoction consisting of Bourbon, bitters, sugar and citrus has been a Seven Grand staple since our opening in 2007. Traditionally, the first use of the name “Old Fashioned” for a Bourbon whiskey cocktail was said to have been, anachronistically, at the Pendennis Club, a gentlemen’s club founded in 1881 in Louisville, Kentucky. The recipe was said to have been invented by a bartender at that club in honor of Colonel James E. Pepper, a prominent bourbon distiller, who brought it to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City. Now, a staple cocktail in any establishment based around traditional classic cocktails. Check out how Dustin and the Seven Grand mix it up. We have it batched up on tap too!

Mix This: The Brown Derby with Tony’s Plex Lowery

March 27th, 2013 — 11:23am


So, this year I’m chillin’ out. Not from drinking, of course, but what, and how. I’ve realized whereas in 2012 I drank a lot, a whole lot of cocktails. Amazing ones. So good it would make your neck hairs stand up at attention and maybe even make you smack yo’ mama for another. That many excellent cocktails.

But after all the countless discussions on the nuances and complexities of cocktails concocted by baritone bartenders; after nights of stomach stretching and the streamlining of fine dining with succulent spirit sipping;
after the world has seen its last ironically mustached muchacho make his mixological masterpiece–

Then what?!?!

I’ll tell you what–Simple, well made cocktails. The ones that have 3 things in them–for a reason. Sure, experimentation is highly advised, and there are some real talented people out there to be sure, but as for me and my palate, I’m stepping it back a bit. Having some spirit with a touch of an amaro, or staying with some well made, and well executed classics that isn’t written on a piece of parchment. Templeton Rye, neat please…

Wow–! Its mighty high up here on my horse! Lemme step down a bit and getcha a drink! The Brown Derby is exactly the type of thing I’m talking about here–simple, to the point. Pretty good all season long, its one of the signature cocktail from the Vendome Club. Can’t go wrong.

- Your favorite Bourbon (2 oz)
- Fresh Grapefruit Juice (1 oz)
- Honey (1/2 oz)

Contents in tumbler with ice, shake well and strain in cocktail glass. Enjoy!

Plex Lowery, Tony’s Saloon, GM

213 Video Series: Featuring Brent Falco and Cole’s Mint Julep!

March 26th, 2013 — 3:47pm


We here at 213 pride ourselves on bringing you not only new and creative cocktails/methods, but also the classics from history’s past.  One of which being the Mint Julep, a Kentucky classic.  This drink, simple yet complex really gives you an idea of what Kentucky tastes like.  The recipe of mint, sugar, bourbon and crushed ice, served in a Julep cup, tastes best on a hot summer’s day.  Prepare yourself for the warmer months ahead, take a look at the video below for Cole’s signature recipe.  Brent, take it away!

Caña Rum Bar’s Natural Daiquiri

March 19th, 2013 — 1:52pm

Caña Rum Bar’s Allan Katz shows us how to make their signature Natural Daiquiri