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Bartender Thinking Mixology Monday the Bishop

Bartender Thinking Mixology Monday the Bishop

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Published by: thethinkingbartender on Jan 02, 2011
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Mixology Monday: The Bishop
So this months Mixology Monday is entitled Winter Warmers, and so somethingalcoholic and warm would definitely be in order.
The Bishop.
When I started out bartending I eagerly hung on every word my bartending peers said,tried to remember all the recipes they showed me, and all the different versions of those same recipes that everyone else used. One of the drinks that seemed to have aconstant recipe, and didn't differ too much, was the Hot Toddy. Now in this era of Cocktail research, that I am a part of, I decided to look into historical recipes for theHot Toddy. It was more revealing than I assumed it would be.The recipe that I was first exposed to was basically, Scotch whisky, boiling water, aclove-studded lemon slice, one stick/ quill of cinnamon, lemon juice, and somehoney; Basically this recipe was all the cold remedies rolled into one. Researchrevealed, however, that the Hot Toddy was the brother of the plain old Toddy, madewith cold water, and maybe sometimes ice, with sugar and a stick of booze; But mostshocking of all there were no spices what so ever. Unless you count the alwaysoptional nutmeg that was the favourite of drinkers of yesteryear.So, I thought, maybe the Hot Toddy I was taught was just a regional variation, or something similar. However, the only drink I was able to find that was remotelysimilar was a drink called a Bishop. A Bishop is not a drink that you will find onmodern drinks menus, or in modern cocktail books, but I think it may have had itsthunder stolen by the comparatively mundane Hot Toddy. Unlike the Toddy, with itsuse of alcoholic spirits, the Bishop uses red wine.
Oxford night caps, a collection of receipts for making various beverages, ByRichard Cook, 1827.
 
 
"Bishop seems to be one of the oldest winter beverages known, and to this day ispreferred to every other, not only by the youthful votary of Bacchus at his evening'srevelry, but also by the grave Don by way of a night cap; and probably derives itsname from the circumstance of ancient dignitaries of the Church, when they honouredthe University with a visit, being regaled with spiced wine."
Recipe.
Make several incisions in the rind of rind of a lemon, stick cloves in the incisions, androast the lemon by a slow fire. Put small but equal quantities of cinnamon, cloves,mace, and all-spice, and a race of ginger, into a saucepan, with half a pint of water; letit boil until it is reduced one half. Boil one bottle of port wine; burn a portion of thespirit out of it, by applying a lighted paper to the saucepan. Put the roasted lemons andspices into the wine; stir it up well, and let it stand near the fire ten minutes. Rub afew knobs of sugar on the rind of a lemon, put the sugar into a bowl or jug, with thejuice of half a lemon, (not roasted,) pour the wine upon it, grate some nutmeg into it,sweetened it to your taste, and serve it up with the lemon and spice floating in it.Oranges, although not used in Bishop at Oxford, are, as will appear by the followinglines, written by Swift, sometimes introduced into that beverage......"Fine oranges, Well roasted, with sugar and wine in a cup, They'll make a sweetBishop when gentlefolks sup."The lines of Swift are also to be found in
Cups and their customs, by Henry Porter,George Edwin Roberts, 1863
, though the authors do acknowledge the Oxford Night-caps book:"One of the oldest of winter beverages, and an especial favourite, both in ancient andmodern times, in our Universities, is "Bishop," also known on the Continent under thesomewhat similar name of Bischof. This, according to Swift, is composed of ....."Fineoranges, Well roasted, with sugar and wine in a cup, They'll make a sweet Bishopwhen gentlefolks sup."It never does harm to get someone else recipe, so here is another for the Bishop:
The Cook and Housewife's Manual, by Margaret Dods, 1862:
 Bishop, Hot or Iced. - The day before this beverage is wanted, grill on a wire-grill,over a clear, slow fire, three smooth-skinned large Seville oranges. Grill them of apale brown. [They may also be done in an oven, or under a furnace.] Place them in asmall punch-bowl that will about hold them, and pour over them a full half-pint froma bottle of old Bordeaux wine, in which a pound and a quarter of loaf-sugar isdissolved. Cover with a plate. When it is to be served next day (though it may soak for two or three days), cut and squeeze the oranges into a small sieve placed above ajug, containing the remainder of the bottle of wine, previously made very hot. Addmore syrup if it is wanted. Serve hot in large glasses. In summer it may be iced.Bishop is often made of Madeira in England, and is flavoured with nutmegs, bruised
 
cloves, and mac. It ought, however, to be made of old, generous Bordeaux wine, or itfails of its purpose as a tonic liqueur.For the home mixology aficionado, the Bishop would most probably be an easy thingto assemble, but what of the hurried yeomen of the bar? How will they concoct such adrink as the Bishop, taking into account that it may never be order unless it appears ontheir menu, promotional literature, or in a prominent publication? I therefore offer myrendition of an a la minute Bishop:Take half an orange and cut it in half again, place into a brandy snifter which has beenbalanced precariously on a tumbler, this tumbler being filled with scolding water;This will heat the snifter, and more importantly it will heat the next ingredients. Add10ml of Grand Marnier, and 10ml of over-proof dark rum, as the snifter heats them upalso add a table-spoon of brown sugar, and some cloves (cloves are optional). Nowignite the Rum/ Grand Marnier. Allow this to burn while you half-fill a tumbler withhot, though not boiling, red wine. When the brown sugar is sufficiently caramelised(i.e. while the caramel is still liquid, rather then being totally crisp and burnt)extinguish the flame, and pour straight into the heated wine, though a tea-strainer.Serve.Cheers!GeorgeClick here to go to the Thinking Bartender Cocktail Website (its only next-door!-)Posted bythink ingbartender on January 12, 2007 4:47 PM |Permalink  
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Comments (2)
George Sinclair :Hi.Glad you liked the blog entry."I am surprised you didnt know about the Bishop already George since you are sowell read? There are also Possets, and Negus's or Waissail Bowls. All good stuff."And how many are served in todays bars? None by me, or on any bar I have ever worked. But if they were good for several hundred years, during their time, then theymust have been doing something right. Hopefully, people will give them the onceover, and maybe we will actually see them on a bar menu somewhere. And as for 

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