Parsonage at Old Sturbridge Village
A couple of weeks ago, I spent the weekend with Yankee Magazine in western Massachusetts to explore the Brimfield Antique Show. The night before our shopping exploration, we were invited to Old Sturbridge Village after-hours to be treated to old-time appetizers, cocktails, and a full meal and dessert by candlelight in the parsonage. For those unfamiliar, Old Sturbridge Village is a beautiful living history museum, concentrating on the 1830's in New England (another post on the village later). I was a bit leery of tasting such an old cocktail recipe, but when I took a swig from the beautiful handmade redware mug handed to me, my lips were met with a refreshing, sweet, absolutely yummy cocktail! And I won't hesitate to mention I had a refill or two.
We were given booklets with recipes to all of that night's refreshments. Our drink was called A Cool Summer Tankard taken from the Family Kitchen Gardener, 1847. It was composed of wine, water, lemon juice, and sugar. Added to this was borage leaves. Knowing I was not going out hunting for borage leaves to make it myself, I did a little research to see if I could find a similar colonial cocktail and I found it! It's called sangaree, which is similar to sangria, but much older. It dates back to at least 1774. I found many versions of this recipe online, and so, as I usually do, I came up with my own favorite combination, after a bit of experimenting.
New England Living's Sangaree
3 oz port
1 oz - 1 1/2 oz Williams Sonoma Yuzu-Meyer lemon cocktail mixer (if you do not have this, try a combination of around 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice and 1/2 oz sugar or simple syrup)
3/4 oz - 1 oz sparkling water
a couple dashes of grated nutmeg (leave this ingredient out if you don't like a bit of a spicy cocktail)
Directions for New England Living's Sangaree
Pour wine, yuzu-meyer lemon (or fresh lemon juice and sugar) over an ice-filled shaker. Grate nutmeg into shaker. If you prefer sparkling water, as I do, do not put water into shaker. For normal water, go ahead and add to shaker. Shake well. Pour into a cooled mug. For sparkling water users, this is the time to add that to the mix and stir. Add plenty of ice. This was meant as a summer drink in the colonial days.
Enjoy your sangaree and play around with the ingredient measurements. For those of you with more of a super sweet tooth, feel free to add more sugar or simple syrup. Or if you really love wine, leave the water out all together. No matter how I've played with my favored ingredients, I've loved every version.
Cheers, everyone! And here's to a colonial weekend!