Thanks to everyone who joined me on Friday for Food History Happy Hour live on Facebook. This week, in commemoration of Memorial Day, we talked about its Civil War origins, the history of grave decoration as Decoration Day, cemetery picnics (and picnics in general), history of refrigeration, how food was preserved before refrigeration, including canning, with mention of my book review of Canned, a discussion of fireless cookers/hay boxes, including Sabbath cooking, historical spring (spoiler alert: June used to be spring), book update, including WWI New York City soldiers' canteens, agricultural labor shortages, comparisons between WWI and the coronavirus pandemic, and what I've been reading recently.
Bishop Cocktail (1906)
I've been looking for a port wine cocktail for a while so that I could crack open my new bottle of Brotherhood Winery's Ruby Port, which is delightful. And, as Anna Katherine pointed out, Friday was Drink Local Wine Night! And Brotherhood Winery - the oldest winery in the country - is located just a few miles from my house.
As I mentioned in the video, the Bishop cocktail (notice that the Black Stripe is the very next recipe!) ended up tasting very similar to sangria, which is not a bad thing. But I would definitely cut down on the sugar next time. And having looked it up since the show, Jamaican rum is a dark rum - not at all close to the white Puerto Rican rum I was using. But in a global pandemic, you use what you've got!
This cocktail comes from the 1906 How to Mix Drinks: Compiled, Selected, and Concocted by George Spaulding.
Here's the original version, with my notes:
Use large glass.
Sugar, one tablespoons [try one teaspoon instead]
Lemon, juice of one-half [or 1 tablespoon bottled]
Orange, juice of one-half [or 2 tablespoons bottled]
Port wine, one wine glass [ooops! I did a half, you can too]
Jamaica rum, one-half pony [1/2 oz.]
Fill with cracked ice, shake well and ornament with fruit [I used blood orange]; serve with straws.
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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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