The Underdog

Photo by Susan Whitney.

The Underdog

0.75 oz Four Roses Bourbon Yellow Label
0.75 oz Marie Duffau Napoléon Bas Armagnac
0.75 oz  Casa Bacardi 8 years old dark rum
1 oz Ginger Peach Sweet Tea Simple Syrup (recipe below)
0.75 oz Prosecco
0.5 oz lemon juice
3 dashes Angostura Bitters

Fill a mixing glass with ice, add ingredients and stir for 30 seconds to chill.Strain into a chilled coupe.

Garnish with a lemon twist and grated nutmeg.

Superbowl Sunday is almost upon us, so it’s time to craft a cocktail to toast the only football game I’ll see all year. Since lately I’m in the mood to root for the underdog and have had enough of the Patriots, I’m rooting for The Falcons and have crafted this week’s cocktail in their honor.

The Underdog is inspired by the recipe for Chatham Artillery Punch, a potent libation crafted in Savannah by Georgia’s oldest military unit, the Chatham Artillery, around the early 1800s. As is the case with many historical recipes, several different versions exist, and no one is certain exactly what found its way into the horse bucket the first time it was served, but everyone agrees that it was a champagne punch with a lot of alcohol. Many of the recipes include equal parts dark rum, brandy and either rye or bourbon, all of which is, apparently dangerously, masked with lemon juice and sugar.

Photo by Susan Whitney.

I’ve stuck with that formula, adding 3/4 ounce each of Four Roses Bourbon, Marie Duffau Bas Armagnac, Casa Bacardi 8-year-old dark rum and Prosecco. As an additional nod to Georgia, I make a ginger peach sweet tea simple syrup by steeping one bag of Allegro Organic Ginger Peach Black Tea in 8 ounces of just boiled water for 10 minutes. I mix in 1/2 cup of sugar rather than the 1 cup I would usually use, as I want to be able to add more peach and tea flavor without making the drink too sweet. Finally, I pour all of the above into a cocktail mixing glass of ice and add 1/2 ounce freshly-squeezed lemon juice and 3 dashes of Angostura Bitters. I stir the drink for 30 seconds so it’s thoroughly chilled and properly diluted, then I strain it into a chilled coupe, give it a lemon twist and grate a bit of fresh nutmeg on the surface.

If you want to scale this up for a crowd, first get a large ice mold working in your freezer. A bundt pan will work well. Next, steep 4 Organic Ginger Peach Black Tea bags for 10 minutes in a 3.5 liter porcelain or glass container in 1 quart of water that has cooled just below boiling. Remove the tea bags, and stir in one cup of sugar and let cool. Add 1 750 ml bottle each of the bourbon, dark rum and armagnac, then juice 3 large lemons into your punch base and let it meld at room temperature or in your refrigerator for at least 8 hours or up to a week. This is the base for your punch and should yield about 18 cups. When you’re ready to serve, put your ice mold in your punch bowl, pour in 6 cups of your base, then add 1 bottle of prosecco. Top with sliced lemons and grated nutmeg and refresh as needed. You should be able to refill your bowl 3 times.

Photo by Susan Whitney.

Follow my lead, and, regardless of whether your team is winning or not, the halftime show is will seem really good.

Ginger Peach Sweet Tea Simple Syrup

1 bag Allegro Organic Ginger Peach Black Tea
1/2 cup sugar

Steep one bag of Allegro Organic Ginger Peach Black Tea in 8 ounces of boiling water for 10 minutes. Mix in 1/2 cup of sugar.

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