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June, 2016

  1. Lufthansa Cocktail Liqueur, a diy recipe

    June 27, 2016 by Villa Tempest

    What motivates you? For me, it trying to track down or develop a recipe for some obscure, shrouded in mister and time, recipe for some such thing. Today, I present for your consideration my efforts to explore the Lufthansa Cocktail Liqueur.

    History

    Developed in 1955 by Mampe for Lufthansa, apparently they developed three bottled products, Party, Bitter, and Dry Martini. They were pre-bottled to make it easier to mix in the galley of the Plane. It would appear that “Bitter” is what is known today as the “Classic” mix.

    Lufthansa Cocktail Likör

    The cocktail, apparently fell out of favour in the mid 80’s but was revived for its 50th Aniversary in 2005 by Berentzen amid a marketing hype of nostalgia. The Berentzen remake contained apparently 12 premium ingredients (Marketers! shades of kfc’s secret original recipe, don’t you think?) and came in at 30% alcohol.

    Lufthansa Cocktail Likör

    In 2015, ten years later, Small Big Brands gave the drink another makeover, bringing it down to around 15.5% along with adding 6 other mixes to the lineup. It is safe to say that this current incarnation of the Lufthansa Cocktail is a vastly different drink.

    Lufthansa Cocktail Likör

    Status Quo

    According to Lufthansa Magazine, to make a Lufthansa Cocktail you need to mix the liqueur in a 1:1 ratio split. That is, one part liqueur to one part mixer. This mixer can be orange juice & lemon juice, soda water, sekt, or champagne. We also know that the original cocktail liqueur was described as an orange-apricot liqueur. The cocktail that the guest got to drink would vary in alcohol content between 15-21% if we go by Berentzen’s ABV. The Lufthansa Cocktail Recipe typically calls for a 40ml measure of Lufthansa Cocktail Liqueur. Why? Because that is the size of the little single serve bottles of spirits on the plane.

    www.lhm-lounge.de_beitrag_3562545

     

    Looking at what Mampe was familiar with, we could hazard a guess that it was some portion of Mampe’s Halb und Halb, plus a small addition of Mampe’s Bittere Tropfen, and then some additions to balance out the sweetness, bitterness, and alcohol content of the final product. Either way, the serving suggestion was on the bottle.

    Lufthansa Cocktail Likör

    With no listing of the ingredients in Berentzen’s mix we we have no direct link between the current and the past, other than both were 30% abv. But! Take heart, there is enough to put together an educated guess, and combine the ides of the past with the reality of the present.

    Perameters

    750ml Production Volume

    30% abv

    Orange, Apricot, Sweet & Bitter notes

    The current Lufthansa Cocktail Classic offering lists: Rose Vermouth, Bitter Aperitif, Raspberry Eau de vie, and Elderflower, and is described as fruity, fresh, balanced between sweet and dry.

    Rosé Vermouth is typically around 17.5% abv (current recipe doing the viral rounds); Bitter Aperitif is around 39% abv (note: older cocktail recipes often refer to using Orange Bitters) – this fits our preferred profile; Raspberry Eau de vie is a liqueur of around 45% abv, and Elderflower is typically used as a syrup, i.e. 0 abv.

    In my personal opinion, the balance of this above, strongly shifted towards sweet and fruity, away from orange and apricots and more towards berry fruits. The strongest alcohols here are the bitters and raspberry Eau de vie, which become the dominant portions in this mix. The syrup and the vermouth are both diluents, yet, while the vermouth may perhaps have a strong impact on the flavour profile, we really don’t know in which direction this Rosé Vermouth is profiled.

    However, this gives us a starting point for pulling together some target products to mix together.

    The List currently stands at (German Products, chosen for no particular reason other than this was originally a German concoction – Disclaimer: I make no claim to any endorsement here, implied or otherwise. I have no connection with any of these products, companies or parent companies.):

    Belsazar Rosé Wermut; The Bitter Truth Orange Bitters; Prinz Himbeergeist; and Monin Holunderblütensirup.

    Let’s add one more product which I will use in our subsequent recipe, Prinz Marillen-Schnapps (clear Apricot Brandy). We’re adding this because orange and apricot are the principle flavours of the original recipe.

    The Recipe

    The following recipe is my best guess at a Recipe for Lufthansa Cocktail Liqueur (Lufthansa Cocktail Likör) it is not the original recipe, nor is it the recipe for any of the subsequent incarnations, but it is informed by what’s been written on the subject and some educated mixology guesswork. So, enjoy, if you will the only recipe on the web for this bottled cocktail mix.

    Lufthansa Cocktail Liqueur Recipe (Lufthansa Cocktail Likör Rezept) 30% abv.

    250ml Belsazar Rosé Wermut – Rosé Vermouth

    370 ml Prinz Marillen-Schnapps – Apricot Schnapps/Brandy

    75 ml  Prinz Himbeergeist – Framboise/Raspberry Eau de vie

    20 ml The Bitter Truth Orange Bitters – Orange Bitters

    55 ml Monin Holunderblütensirup – Elderflower Syrup

    Combine all the ingredients, mix well and bottle. Makes 1 x 750ml batch. Serving Suggestion: To 2 full measures of Liqueur add an equal portion of well chilled Sekt or Champagne. Serve in a tumbler over ice, or in a saucer rimmed with a lemon segment and dipped in sugar. Garnish with a slice of lemon, or a cherry.

     

    Addendum.

    It should be said that “Lufthansa Cocktail” is a proprietary name, and the “real” recipe is secret. That being said, anyone who has drunk this cocktail in the last 10 years or so has not drunk the original but one of the authorized variants. Anyone who remembers the original has a dimming memory of something experienced more than 30 years ago.

    I have never drunk this cocktail mix, and like many today, have an interest in it only to satisfy the wishes of someone in our parentage who is  reminiscing over this once luxury indulgence. So, keep this in mind. What you are making here is a best guess attempt at something that few remember, and if someone close to you claims to, then they are laying claim to a fond memory and your role here is to elicit and stimulate that memory. I hope, this recipe does help you do that.

    Cheers.


  2. The Fascinating History of Waldorf Salad

    June 8, 2016 by Villa Tempest

    Waldorf Salad is an old salad, a fascinating salad, a salad common to my childhood, but why did I wake up yesterday and need to make it, to revisit it and the taste of Waldorf Salad as remembered from my childhood?

    No-one would have guessed that by the end of the day, I would have immersed myself in the fascinating history of perhaps the most famous celery and apple salad in the western world?

    When the Waldorf Hotel in New York opened in 1893, the Swiss-born maître d’hôtel, “Oscar Tschirky” created a simple apple and celery salad for the gala opening, later publishing the recipe in 1896, in his encyclopaedic tome, “The Cookbook, by Oscar of the Waldorf.” (1896, p433)

    Original Waldorf Salad Recipe

    What we can see from this recipe is that over the intervening period of 3 years, this salad remained essentially a dish of apple & celery, dressed with mayonnaise. It is more than likely that this would have been presented in an elegant manner, but there is no mention in the book about garnishing  (a fascinating read that fills in many of the blanks) this salad.

    By 1907, however it appears the salad had either undergone some modification and variation, or the principle garnish became part of the ingredient list. Either way, Escoffier, in his, “A guide to modern cookery” (1907, p.623) lists apple, celery root (celeriac), walnuts and mayonnaise.

    Escoffier's Waldorf Salad Recipe

    What’s interesting here is no ratio given for the walnuts and they are fresh, or soft walnuts with no skin. It is interesting to consider, in looking at this recipe as well, the question: Did Escoffier, the most famous chef of his day, presume to teach Tschirky how to make a balanced salad through publishing this recipe, or is he putting his own spin on it, as famous chefs are wont to do?

    Next, we have mention of the salad, and how to garnish it, in the Boston Cooking-School Cookbook (1911, p339), by Fannie Merrit Farmer yet walnuts don’t feature in the suggestions.

    Waldorf Salad circa 1922

    The next, “authoritative?” mention of the salad with walnuts, and commonly quoted on the web, is apparently in George Rector’s, “The Rector Cook Book” (1928) however, I can not find an actual online copy of the recipe.

    It is interesting to note that 6 years prior to Rector and 15 years after Escoffier, nuts: in this case almonds and pecans; get a mention by Marion Harris Neil in her book, “A Calendar of Dinners, with 615 Recipes” (1922, p 159)

    Waldorf Salad circa 1922

    Two different types of nuts and quite a substantial quantity. The introduction of lemon juice and sugar and a faux mayonnaise dressing. Hmmm…

    What is clear though is that nuts, in general, and walnuts more specifically, have been been an, on again, off again inclusion, but walnuts are now considered the traditional garnish ingredient, and indispensable component in this salad.

    By 1977, the Waldorf Salad had become so tired that it was featured, perhaps as the poster child for the differences between British and American cuisine, in a Fawlty Towers sitcom. By this time, grapes had apparently become a ubiquitous and essential ingredient.

    As a testament to the Salad’s international appeal, Barbara Rias-Bucher included a recipe in her book, “Das Grosse Buch der Guten Kücher” (1995, p60)

    Waldorfsalat ala Barbara Rias-Bucher

    which is somewhat reminiscent of Neil’s, including lemon juice, sour cream, salt and pepper as part of the recipe.

    In spite of the fact that Chefs of all sorts, and cookbook authors, have been putting their own stamp on the recipe, and ingredients, Robuchon’s, “Larousse Gastronomic” (2009, p1142) preserves the original recipe and simply states that walnuts were added sometime later, with no further attribution.

    Larousse Gastronomique Waldorf Salad

    It is clear from the history seen here so far, that there has been some common threads, and perhaps two schools of thought, guiding the development of variants of the Waldorf Salad, towards how we perceive it today.

    Now, the “taste” of Waldorf Salad, well of the salad that I remember from the 70’s and 80’s, or if you prefer, of late last century, was pretty much the lemon and sugar, mayonnaise, walnuts, apples and celery version.

    I remember clearly the mayonnaise – gloopy, all over the place, swimming in it, mayonnaise – the shop bought kind, like “Miracle Whip.” I was never a fan of mayo, actually of anything that contained a noticeable vinegar hint. The apples were cubed, and the celery sliced across the rib. I think mum might have try variants with sour cream and or yoghurt, basically something similar to Barbara Swain’s, “Cookery for 1 or 2” (1987, p52)

    Waldorf Salad ala Barbara Swain

    but I don’t really recall it so clearly anymore, so I guess I’ll just have to eat my way through salad history and see.

    Original Waldorf Salad

    So, let’s start with the original Waldorf Salad and Oscar’s recipe. This what we need:

    Oscar Tschirky's Waldorf Salad 1896

    Some mayo, a green apple, a rib of celery and that’s it. The apple corer/wedge-slicer is a wonderful bit of kit, easy to use and you don’t need superior knife skills. Works equally as well on cucumbers.

    Method:

    • wedge and core the apple, then slice the apple wedges in half lengthwise. make sure there are no seeds in the apple slices.

    Coring and wedge cutting apples for a Waldorf Salad

    nicer dicer Plus cubed apples for Waldorf Salad

    • Swap out the cubing blade and replace with the v-slicer mandolin then slice up the washed rib of celery

    Nicer Dicer Plus V-Slicing celery for Waldorf Salad

    • Take equal amounts, more or less of apple cubes and celery slices and combine them with a good mayonnaise. Use only enough to lightly coat the ingredients

    sliced apple and celery for Waldorf Salad

    • Plate up in any manner you wish, I used a ring mould and garnished with some chopped celery leaves for a bit of colour.

    an Original Waldorf Salad on a plate

    Traditional Waldorf Salad

    • Prepare the salad as above and garnish with a sprinkle of coarsely chopped walnuts

    a traditional Waldorf Salad

    A 1980’s Waldorf Salad

    Proceed similarly as above but note the following additions:

    • After preparing the apples, douse them in a little lemon juice, toss well to help combat browning of the apples
    • use the fine dicer on the Nicer Dicer Plus to chop the walnuts, its quicker and more uniform than with a knife.

    dicing walnuts for Waldorf Salad

    • plate up the salad in a suitably sized cup of lettuce leaf
    • garnish with chopped celery leaf, walnuts and a light rasp of lemon zest

    a 1980's Waldorf Salad

    A Contemporary Waldorf Salad

    These days people are looking for ways to make their salads much lighter, and more fat free. This often involves, using low fat mayonnaise, mayonnaise made from so-called “healthy oils,” or by cutting the mayonnaise with sour cream, lemon juice, water, milk, yoghurt, or even substituting with a yoghurt dressing for the mayonnaise altogether. Other ways of shifting it up is to change the way in which the salad is presented, using other celery components and lettuce substitutes and garnishing with various other fruits such as grapes, dates, raisins, etc.

    One of the biggest issues I have with the traditional salad is that it is heavy going from a physical standpoint, you really have to chew on it. One change that makes the salad feel so much lighter is to change the way the ingredients are prepared. Keeping all else more ore less the same, here’s how to change it up, considerably:

    • using a V-Slicer mandolin with the fine julienne fitting, slice the apple into matchsticks

    cutting aapples for a contemporary Waldorf Salad

    • Using the end of the celery bunch, peal away the dirty bits and julienne

    julienne celery for a contemporary Waldorf Salad

    • toss the apple and celery together with a coating of lemon juice and a scant amount of mayonnaise ensuring that all the apple and celery is lightly and evenly coated, but not dripping in mayonnaise
    • Shred the green tops of a lettuce, and place in the bottom of a ring mould, lightly drizzle some lemon juice over the lettuce and layer some quartered walnuts on top

    plating up a contemporary Waldorf Salad

    • top with the julienne of apples and celery and garnish with shredded celery leaves, a sprinkle of diced walnuts and a rasping of lemon zest
    • drizzle a few drops of extra virgin olive oil around the plate and sprinkle the oil lightly with any red chilli powder of your choice. Alternatively you use ultra fine chilli strings, or curled slices of bell pepper…

    a contemporary Waldorf Salad

    and there you have my take on  a gently dressed, easy to chew, flavourful and well textured, crisp and light, contemporary Waldorf Salad, that is true to both the original, and the tradition, elements of the dish.

    Enjoy.