TotC contest: Veilleés Punch

Posted by TraderTiki on March 19th, 2008 — Posted in Rum, Tales 2008

Since it’s the day past now, I thought I’d share my official entry for the Tales of the Cocktail punch contest. The winning recipe will snag a few bucks, and will be the official drink of the 2008 event. I put together this dandy with much testing, some Old NOLA Rum borrowed from Lance, and some “things” I had sitting about. A few drinks into the development, I hit upon this dandy, and think it’s one nifty sipper, and packs a pretty pulverizing punch while pampering the palate.

The name, by the way, comes from the cajun term for a get together, conversation.. I think the description in Boudreaux’s Cajun Party Guide describes it better than I could.

Routinely, in the wintertime, Cajun families and neighbors get together for a Veilleés (vay-yay). Everyone passes a good time talking to each other, sharing stories, and singing songs over coffee and deserts.

This drink was made alongside a few good evenings of conversation, and after a few of these, you’ll definitely be vay-yaying all over the place.

Veilleés Punch

Veilleés Punch

  • 2 parts White Grapefruit Juice (Oroblanco)
  • 2 parts Strong Black tea (cold)
  • 1 part Pimento Liqueur (substitute allspice syrup if none available)
  • 3 parts Old New Orleans Amber Rum
  • 1 part Martell VSOP Cognac (float)

Single: Use 1/2 Ounce as the part. Shake all ingredients except cognac with ice, strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Float cognac.

Punch: Portion with 1/2 Ounce as the part, as many servings as you estimate guests will imbibe. Fill a punch bowl halfway with ice, pour all ingredients except cognac in a separate container and stir. Pour the mix over ice. Keep the cognac in a decanter on the side for guests or bartenders to float for each guest.

Allspice Syrup: (slow method) steep ground allspice berries in water for 3 days. Strain the water with a coffee filter and pour into a pot, add heat, and mix 1:1 with cane sugar to make a simple syrup.

Allspice Syrup: (fast method) Place whole allspice berries in a pot, cover with water and add heat. Once it hits a boil let it simmer for 20 minutes. Strain out the berries, and mix 1:1 with cane sugar to make a simple syrup.

What I tried to do here is capture the essence of the New Orleans Amber rum. It’s a good product by itself, and its characteristics lend towards a spicy concoction. It doesn’t have much in the way of bitterness, so I thought the Oroblanco would lend its subtle bitterness to the complexity of the drink. I may have committed a mortal sin in floating the cognac, but the flavor didn’t play well intertwined with the other ingredients. As a float, the entryway to the drink, it acts as a bit of a high-class buffer. It gives the drink a lot of character on the nose, which works very well with the flavor of the rest of the drink, and adds a nice finishing note as well.

The Pimento Dram is tops, giving a bit more heat and the allspice character to the drink. I used Chuck Taggart’s recipe, as featured in Imbibe magazine. The Allspice syrup is still fantastic, and actually makes for a slightly smoother, even eminently quaffable drink. The Dram is best for full complexity, slow method allspice better than fast, but I think that’s generally expected. Time is so often a great contribution to flavor.

Well, here’s to crossing my fingers that this sucker gets tried and tried right. Cheers to a fantastic event, no matter whom the winner of this contest may be.

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2 Comments »

Comment by keith waldbauer

beautiful sounding entry, blair, and as soon as i get all the ingredients i’m slurping down one of those peles…. but i can’t get past asking what this primitiva lance used for his hurricane. i’m assuming that is your doing? please, do share if you’ve got some funky homemade juju going down…

Posted on March 20, 2008 at 3:19 pm

Comment by TraderTiki

Hey Keith,

yup, it’s some funky homemade juju alright.

I’m working on a concoctioneering section. Suddenly, demand for info on Primitiva is, well, apparent at all. I’ll have to put the spurs to it to get that section up!

Posted on March 21, 2008 at 1:53 am

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