Monday, January 19, 2009

Tropical produce and the inauguration

It wasn’t easy finding some mention of tropical produce in the planning of this week’s inaugural events, but I finally found some tidbits in a Wall Street Journal article by Eric Felten

The Canadian Embassy will be hosting a "tailgate party" in the embassy courtyard along the inaugural parade route with cocktails made from Canadian whiskey and topped with a slice of starfruit.

1¼ ounces of whiskey
--1/4 ounce of lime juice
--¼ quarter ounce of simple corn syrup

The Canadians will be pouring the above on the rocks in an old-fashioned glass, and then topping it off with half an ounce of champagne. A slice of starfruit will be perched on the glass rim. The drink is called a Crown Royal 44.

The following punch may have saved a President but was unable to come to the aid of White House furniture.

Excited by Andrew Jackson’s inauguration, mobs of people descended upon the capital in 1829 to see the new President. After the swearing in, the Presidential party rushed back to the White House followed by “a monstrous crowd” (to quote Daniel Webster). A witness said, “the motley concourse of people – riding, running helter-skelter – were striving to gain admittance into the executive mansion, where it was understood refreshments were to be distributed.”

The unruly bunch pushed into the White House, clods standing on the silk-upholstered furniture in muddy boots to get a glimpse of the new president (who was trying not to be crushed by his well-wishers). "The reign of King Mob seemed triumphant," wrote Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, appalled. Quick-thinking waiters lugged the following Orange Punch out onto the White House lawn. The partiers followed it outside.

Inaugural Orange Punch
3 parts fresh orange juice
1 part fresh lime juice*
1 part mulled orange syrup
1 part dark rum
1 part cognac
2 parts soda water
Combine in a punch bowl with a large block of ice. Serve in punch cups with a little crushed ice, and give each glass a dash of Angostura bitters.

Mulled Orange Syrup
Combine 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water and heat to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to a low simmer. Add the peel from an orange and mulling spices (a couple of cinnamon sticks, some whole cloves and allspice berries). After 15 minutes, remove from heat and let it sit for several hours. Strain.

* No the original recipe didn’t call for limes, but the article’s author suggested a lime instead of a lemon. The author adds there is historical precedence to this replacement, Andrew Jackson while fighting the Battle of New Orleans tried and enjoyed lime juice. For history sake, we’ll assume he was drinking limeade.