Until I was ready to publish, I wasn’t eager to see public talk about them. No dice. MxMo host Chris Amirault over at eGullet has let the cow out of the barn with MxMo XLII: Dizzy Dairy. For one day, the majority of the world’s online cocktail writers will be blogging, tweeting, and posting Facebook updates on the very thing I’ve been keeping under wraps.
Ah, well. I know when to roll with new developments and, since this is hardly a secret topic anymore, let me tell you a little of what I’ve been up to and throw out a call for help.
As I’ve researched the book, I’ve sampled 1%, 2%, whole, raw, homogenized, and pasteurized milks from huge producers and small family farms. There’s been condensed, evaporated, caramelized, fermented, shelf-stable, and powdered samples decking the kitchen counters. I’ve looked into the dairy underground (where raw milk runners sometimes call their product “mooshine”), put archivists and librarians through their paces digging out manuscripts and old pamphlets, and ordered dairy cocktails in every city I visit. Some—like Ramos’ famous gin fizz—are classics. They can be as simple as Lebowski’s favorite White Russian or laced with fancy beurre noir and sage.
On a recent trip to Philadelphia, I dropped in Rum Bar to say hello to owner Adam Kanter. The milkiest drink on the menu? An orange batida. Long popular in Brazil, batidas often incorporate fruit and sweetened condensed milk (leite condensado) as well as cachaça, a hugely popular cane spirit gaining ground in the US. Bar manager Vena Edmonds kindly supplied the recipe. If you can't find Moleca, a three-year old wood-aged cachaça, consider substituting Leblon or Boca Loca brands. Not the same taste, but a little more funky than a lot of rums.
1 oz Bacardi O
1 oz Moleca cachaça
1 barspoon of refined sugar (about a teaspoon)
1 oz sweetened condensed milk
½ oz orange juice
Shake hard with ice to fully mix the condensed milk and strain into an old fashioned glass with fresh ice. Garnish with an orange slice. You could also substitute simple syrup to taste for the sugar.
Of course, I was in Philly to hit libraries and archives, too. I’ve dug into the ethnographic, historic, culinary, and literary records from around the world for cultural and scientific information on the lactation of cows, goats, horses, buffalos, camels, and more. Want naturally rose-flavored milk? Grab your passport. The fermented Mongolian mare’s milk drink koumiss that used to be in all the bartenders’ manuals? Hard to find, but there’s an easy work-around. Beyond issues of palatability, I can tell you why we don’t milk pigs, why water buffalo cream is so thick, and how to break down milk punch into distinct families.
But I could use help. I’m looking for recipes to include—with attribution—in the book.
I’ve got more than enough historic American cocktail recipes. What would help are original dairy cocktails made by modern bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts—cocktails using milk, buttermilk, cream, butter (don’t look at me like that: you never heard of hot buttered rum?), or other dairy products. Innovative takes on older recipes and examples from outside the US are also good: Got experience with aged eggnogs, sloe gin fizzes, or pisco-spiked caramelized goat’s milk? I’d love to hear from you.
I can’t promise everyone’s recipe will make the final cut—my editor invariably cuts even my own recipes—but I can promise to talk with you about your cocktail(s), see if there’s room to include them, and give you all kinds of lavish credit if one or more of your recipes makes the final draft.
Email me at moonshinearchives [at] gmail [dot] com and let’s see what we can do.