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"Historical" drinks to serve at winter party?

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Any suggestions for what to serve at a party of historians in January in Georgia, in an 1885 farmhouse? Any homemade liquors or liqueurs I should start now?

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  1. Check this out:

    http://www.theartofdrink.com/book/

    1 Reply
    1. re: 2top

      What a fun book! Thanks for the link. I guess we should have Jeff Davis punch...

    2. If you are a beer maker, my husband and our friends make mead (dry and sweet), which you need to make months in advance.

      Alternatively, someone recommended this cherry cordial to me - she started it last month and it will be ready for Christmas:

      Grandpa's Bing Cherry Liqueur
      submitted by Diane Lauerman

      ingredients:
      as many jars as you are thirsty
      bing cherries to fill jars half full
      a lot of granulated sugar
      a lot of brandy or vodka

      (1) First, taste vodka. Good, isn't it? (2) Make sure jars are real clean and dry. (3) stem cherries. (4) Fill jar (or jars) half full with cherries. (5) Add enough sugar to just cover cherries. (6) Leave this alone until the sugar dissolves. This will take 3-7 days, depending upon the weather. (7) It's hard to wait, so taste the vodka each day. (8) Pour brandy or vodka to within one inch of top of jar and cover tightly. (9) Place in dark cupboard. The jar. Not the chef. (10) Wait three to six months. The longer you can wait, the better. You can do the same with blackberries, remembering to always sample the vodka first. The cherries are usually ripe late summer. You'll have some nice gifts for friends at Christmas.

      In general, any fruit cordial or schnapps is something you should start now if you want it by Christmastime. Yum!

      1. How far back are you going historically, and what era? Mead or barleywine could work.

        Oh, and a farmhouse ale/saison might be nice as well, since the party is taking place in a farmhouse (albeit not a French one, but who cares, saisons are amazing).

        2 Replies
        1. re: erikka

          Excellent ideas—thank you! I've never tried saison, but it sounds perfect. I was thinking I might make drinks and foods that were popular or at least marginally available in 1885 in rural Georgia. Which kind of limits the options a bit (but what I need are limits when it comes to parties and food and drink!). Could perhaps start a batch of metheglin, which is similar to mead...

          1. re: Liana Krissoff

            Saison is an excellent suggestion.

        2. mint juilep

          1. Try a Coow Woow, purported to be the first mixed drink to be served in America, in 1664.

            To make a Coow Woow, pour 2 parts rum and 1 part ginger brandy over crushed ice, stir and strain into a cocktail glass. I believe that the ice is a fairy recent addition to make it a bit smoother to drink.