Hot Sangarees

bubbling-overFor this holiday weekend we decided to break out David Embury’s book to see if we could find something to make that would be appropriately festive. We came across Hot Sangarees and were intrigued. They seemed just the ticket; they are simple drinks to make since they only have a few ingredients, their warmth helps combat the cold weather (you might have guessed that from the name :)), and most importantly, they have an element of danger to their making! What could be better than the combination of booze and hot pokers? We couldn’t think of a thing, so we put the poker on the fire and got started.

Sangarees are traditionally made with a heavy beer or fortified wine mixed with a bit of simple syrup and heated, then topped with grated nutmeg. We wanted a little more complexity, so we threw a touch of hard spirits into the mix as well.

We decided to start with a beer-based ensemble, since we have lots of great breweries around here, and many of them make delicious winter ales. We popped out to the mega-mart around the corner and picked up some Ebenezer, a tasty winter warmer from Bridgeport Brewing out of Portland, OR. We thought a rum would be a good match for it, but a funky Jamaican like Smith & Cross was overwhelming, while an aged rum like the El Dorado 21 got a little lost. A solid rhum agricole did the trick though, the grassy vegetal notes melding nicely with the hops in the beer, and the barrel notes and molasses providing some depth.

Winter Ale

  • 8 oz heavy style beer (stout, winter ale, porter)
  • 2 tsp. simple syrup
  • 1 1/4 oz rhum agricole (We used the Depaz Blue Cane)

Heat with a red hot poker, grate fresh nutmeg on top. Cheers!warm

hotterSome notes on using the poker: You’ll probably need a gas stove, grill, or a hot wood fire to get it hot enough. Let it get red hot going towards white. Put the drink in a metal or heavy glass vessel that won’t crack if the poker brushes the side when heating. Stir the poker around in the drink a fair bit to heat it evenly. Warning: the beer will foam up prodigiously, so have it in the sink or on a baking sheet to catch the overflow. Oh, and don’t burn yourself or light the house on fire, because we don’t want to get sued 😉

  • Nose: Nutmeg, ale, cola, molasses, malt, bitter aromatic hops.
  • Palate:Nutmeg right on the front, along with grassy notes from the rum twining with pine-y resin from the hops. Richer flavors of cola, malt, barrel, and sweet molasses cookies on the mid-palate along with more nutmeg. Finish is bitter hops and toasty cereal notes.

bubble-bubblefinal-drinkNext up, we wanted to try a version with port. We thought an Australian tawny port with it’s heavier body would be nice, and after tasting a number of combinations with different spirits we settled on Canadian whiskey. It added both maple and floral characteristics that played well with the caramel and dried fruit flavors of the port.

Tawny Port

  • 4 oz tawny port
  • 1 1/2 oz Canadian whiskey ( we used the Collingwood)
  • Optional: 2 tsp. simple syrup (we started with a sweet port so omitted the sugar, but you may want to add it if you choose a drier style)

Heat with a red hot poker, grate fresh nutmeg on top. Cheers!

  • Nose: Nutmeg, oxidized wine, raisins, maple, slight anise/licorice, hint of light, sweet floral like apple blossoms.
  • Palate: Sweet maple on the front, both maple wood and maple syrup. Little bit of nutmeg, then really strong dried fruit (figs & raisins) on the mid-palate overlaid with the same floral notes as on the nose. Sharp pop of acid on the end of the mid-palate into the finish. Finish is slightly tart and quite dry, with some woody notes. As it sits, it develops hints of dark chocolate and anise on the mid-palate into the finish as well.

We imagine most of you have a beer in the fridge, a bottle or two in the cupboard, and a heavy metal implement you can heat up, so if you feel adventurous over the holiday break, we encourage to mix all of those things together, to delicious results. Cheers and happy holidays, all!



This entry was posted in rhum agricole, tawny port, winter ale. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s