Friday, October 01, 2010

The First Salute


There is a new drink going in the menu at Fort Defiance tonight. It captures the historic zeitgeist of my beloved workplace and is one of my favorite recent creations.

I wanted to create a tasty rum drink using an aged rum that would be a nice transition from our glorious Indian Summer to the cold winter months ahead. I also have been playing around with making my own version of the tiki classic, Don's Mix. I made a simple syrup with Cinnamon, grapefruit zest and star anise. Star Anise has been a favorite since tasting my Grandmother's homemade Pizzelles as a child. (And a trip to Niagara Falls last week to visit my 95 year old Aunt Nevia reminded me I STILL have not put my Grandmother's Pizzelle iron to the test!) I have used those lovely star anise pods to infuse bourbon and make Coquito. The flavor comes through nicely in a syrup too.

Armed with "Abby's Mix", some lime and Chairman's Reserve, I had a stellar new drink. The rum adds a hint of vanilla and a full bodied boost while the syrups spiciness comes through to the end of the sip. Now....I needed a name.

So came to the rescue our local bon vivant, Phil. When I mentioned the Rum comes from
St Lucia, he stood and saluted me at the bar, a not so easy task after two of said cocktails. Turns out, island nation was the first to salute the young America and recognize them as a sovereign nation, a mere 4 months after declaring independence. The extraordinary historical writer Barbara Tuchman wrote a book about the event and its importance in our Revolutionary war.

Well, that certainly fits the theme of our Fort Defiance. Its a delicious drink, so it will fit in on our tasty menu. It even fits Toby's guidelines for a good drink (3 ingredients!!)

The only thing....after some cursory research (I MUST check my facts) I found out it was the nearby Dutch controlled island of St Eustatius that actually fired the first salute. St Lucia was under British and French control back and forth over the years and was probably in no condition to be as cheeky and brave as those Dutch.

Still, its a good story and a good name and I am sticking with it! By the way...its 82 degrees in St Lucia today. Want to to go?

The First Salute
2oz Chairman's Reserve Rum
3/4 oz "Abby's Mix"
3/4 oz Fresh Lime

Shake with ice and serve straight up.

From TheFirstSalute.org:

On November 16, 1776, a small American warship, the ANDREW DORIA, sailed into the harbor of the tiny Dutch island of St. Eustatius in the West Indies. Only 4 months before, the United States had declared its independence from Great Britain. The American crew was delighted when the Governor of the island, Johannes de Graaf, ordered that his fort's cannons be fired in a friendly salute. The first ever given by a foreign power to the flag of the United States, it was a risky and courageous act.

4 comments:

Michael said...

Great post!

Eileen Charbonneau said...

Now that's what I call a painless history lesson! Thank you, Abby. Can't wait to try your "First Salute!"

WonderGirl said...

Good thing I have a Mom who is a stickler for historical accuracy, eh?

WonderGirl said...

PS: two cocktails of mine are now on the menu..a copy of which I hope you will hang on your refrigerator with pride. I know I am bursting with it! :)