Duggan McDonnell’s Pisco Punch - Wine & Spirits Magazine

Duggan McDonnell’s Pisco Punch

Quaffed mightily by Mark Twain and Tom Sawyer; perfected by Duncan Nicol in the Gay Nineties

Ingredients —

2 oz/60 ml Campo de Encanto Grand & Noble Pisco
1 oz/30 ml pineapple cordial, homemade [see below] or store-bought
1 oz/30 ml fresh lime juice
½ oz/15 ml Lillet Rouge or your favorite red wine
Dash aromatic bitters, homemade [see below] or store-bought
Expressed orange peel for garnish

Homemade Pineapple Cordial

By Scott Baird, courtesy of Trick Dog

1 small ripe pineapple
2 cups/480 ml water
4 cups/800 g organic evaporated cane sugar
½ tsp salt

Homemade Aromatic Bitters

2 cups/480 ml high-proof American whiskey
2 cups/480 ml overproof rum
2 Tbsp gentian root
Two 6-in/15-cm cinnamon sticks
1 Tbsp green cardamom pods
1 Tbsp caraway seeds
1 Tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 jasmine tea bag
1 whole nutmeg, crushed
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp whole cloves
1 star anise pod
2 bay leaves
½ cup/85 g California raisins
Peel of 1 lemon in long strip
Peel of 1 orange in long strip
Peel of 1 lime in long strip
¼ tsp sea salt
2½ cups/600 ml hot water
¾ cup/150 g firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
¼ cup/60 ml honey

Instructions —

Pour the liquid into a mixing glass, add ice, shake vigorously, then fine-strain into a cocktail goblet.
Garnish with the orange peel.

For the cordial: Peel and core the pineapple, then cut into half wheels 1 in/2.5 cm thick. Preheat a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Gently lay the pineapple half wheels in the hot pan and sear, turning once, until nicely browned on both sides, roughly 3 minutes on each side. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the pineapple to a cutting board. Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the water, and deglaze the pan, stirring gently to dislodge any browned solids on the pan bottom. Pour the contents of the frying pan into a saucepan, add the sugar and salt, place over high heat, and bring to a boil. While the mixture is heating, roughly chop the caramelized pineapple. Once the mixture is at a boil, turn the heat to low and skim off any foam from the surface. Carefully place the pineapple in the syrup and simmer gently for 10 minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat and let cool completely, then strain through a chinois. Transfer to a tightly capped bottle or jar and store in a refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. Makes about 2 cups/480 ml.

For the bitters: Combine the whiskey, rum, gentian, cinnamon, cardamom, caraway, ginger, tea bag, nutmeg, coriander seeds, peppercorns, allspice, cloves, star anise, bay leaves, raisins, citrus peels, and salt in a large glass jar with a sealable lid, cap tightly, and shake vigorously. Rest the jar on a kitchen shelf at room temperature for 21 days, shaking it once vigorously every day. Line a fine-mesh sieve with cheesecloth and strain the contents of the jar through the sieve into a clean bowl, pressing and then squeezing the solids to release as much liquid as possible. Set the liquid—now the high-proof bitters base—aside.  Transfer the solid mash to a saucepan, add the water, and place over low heat. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, strain through the fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, and discard the solids. Add the brown sugar and honey to the warm liquid, stir to dissolve the sugar, and let cool completely. Combine the cooled liquid and high-proof bitters base in a clean glass jar with a sealable lid, cap tightly, and shake vigorously. Return the jar to shelf for 7 days, shaking it once vigorously every day. Then leave the jar undisturbed for an additional week. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth into a clean jar, then transfer to small bottles for cocktail use, leaving any sediment in the jar. Voila! The bitters are finally ready to use. Makes 3 small bottles of bitters.

 photo by Luke Abiol (Chronicle Books, 2015)

This cocktail recipe is a web exclusive.