Thanks to everyone who participated in this week's Food History Happy Hour! In this episode we made the Flash of Lightning from the Recipes of American and Other Iced Drinks, London (1902).
For this episode we discussed the recent controversy from Goya CEO and the context and history behind Spanish culture and colonialism in South and Central America, the history of root beer and other early sodas, including ginger ale, birch beer, and sarsaparilla, the origin of root beer floats and ice cream sodas.
Flash of Lightning Cocktail (1902)
Here's the original recipe, from Recipes for American and Other Iced Drinks by Charlie Paul (1902):
Fill tumbler with chipped ice, into which squeeze half a lemon; then add half a teaspoonful of sugar, a teaspoonful of raspberry syrup, half a wine-glassful of brandy, a little cayenne pepper; then strain off.
And here's my version:
In a cocktail shaker over ice, add:
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (or thereabouts) raspberry syrup
2 ounces cherry bounce
one or two taps of ground cayenne pepper
Shake then strain into wineglass.
This recipe is definitely a quite sweet (thanks in part to the cherry bounce), so if you want something not so sweet, leave off the sugar. As the drink warms and sits the heat of the cayenne will intensify, so you might want to use a light hand to begin with.
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Sarah Wassberg Johnson has an MA in Public History from the University at Albany and studies early 20th century food history.
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