Author: Doug Winship
Tony Sinclair

Gin-sperimentation #1

Ok, first off, I'd like to apologize to my fives of readers for the posting hiatus this week. It wasn't that I didn't have time to blog, I didn't have time to do anything to set up the next couple of posts I want to do! Tops on my list of upcoming projects is doing a series on alternate gins for making Pegus. Herewith is my first in this series, please enjoy responsibly. Rangpur Pegu The first gin I'm going to touch on is the new Tanqueray Rangpur Gin. I used to be all for the infused vodka products, when they first appeared, but now they've gone completely overboard. The Three Olives shelf in our liquor store looks like a Crayola truck smashed through the window of a produce market. Tank Rangpur is a bit of a play on all the flavored vodkas out there, but seems to be a more sophisticated project. Some decent Tanqueray gin is further infused with ginger and rangpur limes. I put the limes in quotes, since they are apparently not limes at all. Slashfood says this about Rangpurs:
Sometimes called rangpur limes, many people assume that rangpur are in fact limes. They have a very strong lime taste to them but they are actually a lemon x mandarin orange hybrid that probably originated in India. They are one of three similar fruits from the family Citrus × limonia Osbeck, commonly but incorrectly called mandarin limes. Other names for rangpur are: rungpur, marmalade lime, lemandari,; Canton lemon in southern China, hime lemon in Japan, Japanche citroen in Indonesia, sylhet lime, surkh nimboo, shabati in India, and limao cravo in Brazil. Rangpurs are orange skinned and are the size, shape, and look like tangerines, but with a very sour, acidic juice that is used like a lime and has a very pronounced lime like flavor and aroma.
So, let's see what we've got here: Decent gin of ancient pedigree, with lime-like flavor, using a fruit from the region surrounding the Indian Ocean. Is it too far a stretch to think that those dottily brilliant Brits of the Pegu Club in darkest Burma might have used Rangpurs in their original invention? And this simply got translated to Limes upon export back to Britain, and our fair shores as well? I still put off buying a small bottle, mostly out of sheer inertia, until I was spurred to action by a new television commercial from Tanqueray, featuring Tony Sinclair. Tony Sinclair Mr. Sinclair certainly shows how far Britain has come, now that even men of african descent have joined the ranks of upperclass twits! Anyway, the latest ad Tony has put together for Tanqueray is about Rangpur. He's such a charming, if kind of eccentric, gentleman that I finally felt Ready to Tanqueray. Aren't I just the marketing victim? Yes, I know he's not real! Shame on you. I've mixed several Pegus now with Rangpur, varying the amount of lime juice and bitters. I first tried the recipe unchanged from the Sapphire version, but this was simply too... too. I liked the tonality of the drink, but that smooth Pegu Punch that appeals so much to me was not so smooth! Thus I soldiered on, secure in the knowledge that you would thank me for my intrepid efforts! The next batch I simply cut the lime juice in half, but this was a bit pungent for my own taste. I tried one more batch, this time side-by-side with one made with the classic Sapphire recipe, in order to compare and contrast. I used about three-quarters of the lime juice, and went a little easy on the Angustora. Voila! This gives us a nice, smooth, tasty cocktail. It's a Pegu, but it tastes much milder and a bit sweeter than the Official Pegu Blog recipe. The Rangpur and ginger add some neat new flavors as well. What I don't like about it so much is that while it is less punchy that the classic, it does taste a bit more ginny. I'm not a huge fan of getting punched in the nose by juniper, and the Tanqueray reminds you that this is a gin drink a little more than I like. If you do like your drinks more distinctively ginny, this is a very interesting variant that you ought to try!abc
General Cocktails

On Lime Juice

LimesI thought I'd slap together a post about lime juice, it's use in Pegus, and its general importance and use in my own bartending. Rant Alert: I can virtually guarantee that before this post is done, I'll be foaming at the mouth about your average bartender's understanding and use of lime juice—You've been warned. Lets start with something I consider a dirty word, Rose's. Since starting this blog, I've poked around the web extensively to find everything written about Pegus. If you choose to write about them, I'll find you.... Anyway, Drinkboy relates that the first known published recipe for Pegus specifies Rose's. Some poor soul on eGullet actually tried this abomination! I guess he recovered, since he found the strength to post about it afterward. The less said about the effects of Rose's on a Pegu, the better. When I first started to get bartenders to make me Pegus, there were a few incidents. I'd say lime juice, and the mixological midget across the bar would reach for the Rose's. A couple of times, I didn't catch this event until I put cocktail to lips. I still shudder. Listen up, bartenders: Rose's is not lime juice! Do not use it when asked for lime juice. Rose's is a lime cordial. I suspect that there is some lime juice in there (well, I know there is), but it is essentially lime-infused simple syrup. It would be as if I asked for sesame seeds and you gave me a hamburger with a sesame seed bun!
Well, that didn't take long!
What didn't?
The Ranting... You know... for it to begin....
Heh, sorry. But I doubt that'll be all. Anyway, Rose's makes for a totally different cocktail, and not a palatable one. The same goes for all sorts of other cocktails, like Cosmopolitans. The taste buds weep to think of all the perfectly serviceable Cosmos in the world that have been ruined by the simple introduction of Rose's over juice.
You drink Cosmopolitans? You, Mister Gin-ny, Bitters Boy?
So, this is going to be one of those posts, is it? As for Cosmos, yes, I drink them... when I make them myself. I'll do a post on my variation some other time. So if it a confession you want, I'll give it: I drink Cosmos. The Cosmos I make don't taste like what most Cosmo drinkers expect, but the only thing people say about that when I make them one is Uhh... umm... more please? And while I'm confessing, I always keep a bottle of Rose's in my bar fridge, and it gets used often. Just not for Pegus.


Lovely pictures of limes, right? So fresh, so juicy, so ready to be squeezed or muddled to produce cocktail perfection. Right?

Right! Gotta use fresh juice! Even I know that! Everyone says so.
Right. Nothing beats fresh juice. Now, here's what I use for 95% of the cocktails I make that need lime juice:RealLime Juice
Now see here! What are you trying to pull? You just gassed on at length about ignorant bartenders who use Rose's instead of fresh juice, then you bust out the old Cadbury-Schwepps! What are you?
What am I? Thirsty. Oh, and lazy too. And I'm glad to see that you're back, too. So where is he now, doing more dishes?
No, he's making me a Pegu, if you must know. And I can hear him squeezing the limes right now.
You can hear limes being squeezed? How close is he?
He's in the basement, but I can hear him grumbling about the cleanup.
That's my point. I'm thirsty. If I have to cut, squeeze, and clean limes every time I make a Pegu, I waste valuable time I could spend drinking said ambrosia. And how many limes does he have to keep around? What if he runs out? No Pegus!
I buy the limes, as part of my regular shopping. He doesn't have to.
Someone does, though. And what happens when you go on a Sidecar and Stinger binge? Or go on vacation? That bowl of limes you keep to last you between trips to Kroger is going to look pretty nasty right promptly! I touched on this when I discussed garnishes.
I can handle lime inventory, thank you. What's the matter? Does you world-view of Broads not include domesticity?
Of course Broads can be domestic. Many are. Don't play with me on that subject. As I recently discovered, The Pegu Blog is The Internet's Fifth Leading Authority on Broads™.
Sure. If it makes you happy. We were discussing my fresh lime juice?
See, the thing is that fresh limes are a production. Fresh juice is better than bottled, but by how much? Enough to notice. But not enough to make it worthwhile for a Wednesday, Five O'Clock break between chasing kids and, well, chasing kids. I want more people to drink Pegus (and I want to drink Pegus), so I advocate bottled juice for everyday drinking.
But you just beat up bartenders about how they have to use fresh juice!
Yes I did. Mostly, that was in the context of Rose's, but I do want them to squeeze fresh juice when possible. First, it's their job, and second, I tip like a dying millionaire, and third, it's their job. So I expect fresh juice. At home, it isn't my job. I'm simply lazy. And thirsty, like I said. I can have a delicious Pegu with no more effort than a Martini or Gimlet. Save the production for when you have friends over.
Sounds good to me!
Hush! And go do the dishes.
Mixology Monday

Things I learned from MxMo….

Well, I have now participated in my first Mixology Monday. It was fun writing my post, and lots of fun reading others! A big thanks to Jay at for profiling the One True Cocktail™, and to everyone else, for putting up so many posts that were interesting enough for me to get through all the way to the end. (My life is usually a series of episodes of Short Attention Span Theater, sorry.) I learned many things from this experience, aside from a lot of new cocktails to try, some useful, and some funny. So I thought I'd share a few of these things that aren't recipe related, but instead come from Sitemeter. First, while most of us and our readers are in the US, with the UK a distant but important second, there are cocktail blog readers everywhere! Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Germany all checked in. I got hits from India and even Mauritania! No one from France.... Second, people will read a lot of your blog when they first hit it. I got departure clicks from way down the main page. Third, I found that people actually read and follow blogroll links. I've been reading lots of blogs of all kinds for a while now, and I never really paid much attention to anyone's blogroll before. When I saw how many hits come in and leave via blogrolls, I found out I was in the minority. So I went back and did some work to update and polish my blogroll. And I'll know now to keep up with it as I discover more of you that I want to read regularly! Fourth, search engines get some strange requests, and I'm there for those requesters! My main website for my murder mystery business gets some peachy search engine hits, but I started culling out the Pegu Blog visits for separate study. This isn't really MxMo related, but since I was giving the logs a closer than usual look to see how MxMo went, I came up with these gems: pegu bartenders—search Google for this, and The Pegu Blog comes up first, five steps ahead of The Pegu Club itself! strawberry daiquiris not always chick drink gave me a hit from someone who was here a while. And searching Yahoo for calling a woman a broad gives my post on the subject the number five position, which I guess makes me the Internet's fifth leading authority on Broads. I feel so
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