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July 5, 2003

Mixed drinks
Posted by Teresa at 06:59 PM *

General Sherman

1 peach or nectarine 1 shot bourbon or rye
good sharp ginger beer

Wash the fruit and cut into longitudinal slices; freeze. If you’re using a peach, skin it first.

To serve: Put frozen fruit slices into an old-fashioned glass, along with an ice cube or two if you want it that way. Add a good shot of whiskey, then fill the rest of the glass up with ginger beer. Stir very slightly. Garnish with a sprig of mint, a small paper umbrella, or a cocktail-size captured battle flag.

Liberal Forage
Haagen-Dazs or Breyer’s fresh peach ice cream a double shot of bourbon or rye
sharp ginger beer
frozen peach or nectarine slices
Put one or two scoops of ice cream into a tall glass. Add whiskey. Carefully pouring down the side, fill the rest of the glass with ginger beer, stopping just short of the top. Garnish with frozen fruit slices and, optionally, a sprig of mint. Serve with a bendy straw and a somewhat battered long-handled silver spoon.

[Recipe Index]

Comments on Mixed drinks:
#1 ::: Kenneth G. Cavness ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2003, 08:10 PM:

Shouldn't a proper General Sherman include setting it on fire at some point in the process?

#2 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2003, 10:36 PM:

That would be a Sherman's Trooper, wouldn't it? I doubt he himself was lighting much stuff on fire.

I can't have strong drink anymore; I have been consoling myself with President's Choice not-from-concentrate grapefruit juice and ginger beer mixed about half and half. A shot or two of vodka wouldn't go badly in that for those so inclined.

#3 ::: Jeff Crook ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2003, 12:07 AM:

A General Sherman would include ordering someone else to light something on fire. However, to make it on your own requires a Grant.

Oh, bad pun.

#4 ::: Carlos ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2003, 01:13 AM:

Thought General Thomas was the one who liked peaches? Fried, if memory serves.

#5 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2003, 02:00 AM:

There's no need to set anything on fire. That's where the sharp ginger beer comes in. You need the real thing -- the kind that makes you wonder whether your nose is going to fly off. In a pinch, try a grocery in a Jamaican neighborhood.

Graydon's ginger beer and grapefruit juice also makes a nice combination. A little sprig of mint goes well in that. In my opinion so does a little sprig of thyme, but you risk having people think you're weird.

Carlos: Gen. Thomas liked fried peaches? Fried how, with what? That's just weird. Peaches are meant to be sliced thin and used in roast pork sandwiches.

Any day now, someone's going to figure out where that second drink gets its name.

#6 ::: Carlos ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2003, 07:20 AM:

This bugged me last night, and I couldn't sleep until I remembered where I read it. Then I went to bed.

"When Major Philip N. Barbour stepped off the boat in early August [1846, in Camargo, Mexico], he found that Thomas and the advance party had commandeered the plaza and were cool in its shade. "Dined with Thomas and fared well," he recorded. "They had a most excellent dish that I never saw before, though it was an exceedingly simple one, viz.: fried peaches. Thomas told me there were plenty of fine peaches in town just ripening." Eating well and sleeping comfortably, Thomas would always be stout." -- from Buell's _Warrior Generals_, 18-19 of the paperback.

Given the locale, I am thinking they were fried in manteca. Powdered sugar and canela?

Would an alternate name for "Liberal Forage" be "Bummer's Delight"?


#7 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2003, 07:28 AM:

Teresa, one of the things I love about you is your appreciation of the subtleties (or sotelties, if you prefer that spelling...). Liberal Forage wouldn't taste the same with a brand new silver spoon; at least you'd have to change its name.

As for that, my guess is that it's what you had on hand one evening, rooting through the fridge for yummies...the ingredients themselves would be more liberal with Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

I'd love to try these, but presently I can have neither alcohol nor ice cream. Ginger beer, I am happy to say, remains one of the delights of my life. The big healthfood store in Hoboken, Basic Food, sells a brand that comes in three different strengths; I prefer the strongest, which has 26 grams of ginger per bottle...I can't remember the brand name, alas.

#8 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2003, 07:37 AM:

I imagine that Mystic Seaport's ginger beer would do well in a General Sherman as well. The opportunity to buy that stuff in something approaching quantity (well, in six-packs, anyhow) is one of the things that makes a membership in Mystic Seaport worthwhile all by itself. Well, that and the bookstore discount.

#9 ::: Glen Engel-Cox ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2003, 08:20 AM:

Okay, somewhat off topic here, but still in a drinking vein--does anyone know how to make a Ravished Virgin cocktail? It was supposedly James Branch Cabell's favorite drink, and I can find references to it, but no recipe or ingredient list.

#10 ::: LauraJMixon ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2003, 09:16 AM:

Yum! Yum yum yum. You're wicked.

OK, I'll pick up the dumb stick. Where does Liberal Forage come from?


#11 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2003, 03:43 PM:

I still mourn Shweppes Ginger Beer, which had a satisfying tingly afterburn. Even the good Jamaican beers I have had are sweeter than I like. Alas...

#12 ::: Barbara ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2003, 04:55 PM:

I used to have a recipe for making ginger beer - wish I could find it. You started with sugar,powdered ginger and yeast, and fed it daily with more ginger and sugar, ultimately adding sliced lemons and lemonjuice before straining into tightly capped bottles to mature...(I did have one lot that exploded...) Schweppes Ginger Beer and some other brands (Corona?) were still available the last time I was in UK. There doesn't seem to be any here in Darkest Labrador.

#13 ::: Barbara ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2003, 05:03 PM:

I just Googled for ginger beer recipes and found several that look promising.

#14 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2003, 08:39 PM:

Laura, are you going to beat the dumb slowly?

#15 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2003, 08:51 PM:

Have never tried making ginger beer; perhaps I would have more luck than with root beer. Every attempt at making root beer, as a kid or as an adult, has resulted in either a) a brown syrupy glup that smelled nice but tasted like...a brown syrupy glup, or b) a series of explosions. This latter disaster was particularly piquant because it happened the summer we had moved to rural Massachusetts full-time, my mother was the only parent on the premises, and she was of the anxious variety. The sudden shooting off of three dozen bottlecaps, all at once, pretty much set the tone for what her life in the country was going to be like.

I suppose the worst that would happen is that I'd wind up with ginger-smelling brown glup.

#16 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2003, 09:41 PM:

Thought you might know that one, Carlos. Laura, it's from General Sherman's Special Field Orders No. 120, which laid out the rules and procedures for Sherman's March. I've always thought it was a clever piece of work. Instead of trying to anticipate all circumstances by issuing a bunch of specific orders, he gave his troops a set of flexible protocols. You can read the whole order here.

One of the lines in it is, "The army will forage liberally on the country during the march." Sherman's troops took this to heart. This is from the third volume of Shelby Foote, p. 643:

Riding with Slocum past Stone Mountain, ... Sherman pulled off on the side of the road to review the passing troops and found them unneglectful of such opportunities as had come their way. One marcher who drew his attention had a ham slung from his rifle, a jug of molasses cradled under one arm, and a big piece of honeycomb clutched in the other hand, from which he was eating as he slogged along. Catching the general's eye, he quoted him sotto voce to a comrade as they swung past: "Forage liberally on the country."

Sherman afterward told how he "reproved the man, explaining that foraging must be limited to the regular parties propertly detailed ..."

It seemed an appropriate name for the deluxe version of a Sherman.

And no, Christopher, I didn't scramble it together out of the freezer and liquor cabinet one hot afternoon. That one was formally devised.

Carlos again, peaches fried in butter are an interesting idea. There's that stage where the peach is nearly but not completely ripe. It's not best for eating, but it'll hold up well in a pie, and I suspect it would take very well to being lightly fried.

Confession: I'm the reason that the Bordertown continuity includes a restaurant called The Army of the Cumberland. Now we know what they serve as their featured dessert.

#17 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2003, 01:08 AM:

Mad, homemade rootbeer was standard at Mormon summer church picnics when I was a kid, but our version of it involved water, sugar, root beer extract, and some chunks of dry ice purchased from the Blue Goose Navel Orange packing plant. You mix the first three ingredients in a big container, then throw in the dry ice. After carbon dioxide has bubbled through the mixture for a while, it gets fizzy.

Probably it wasn't the best root beer in the universe, but I remember thinking it was swell. What's really good is the carbonated frozen root beer that forms in the bottom of the tub if you've put in enough dry ice.

#18 ::: Eleanor Rowe ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2003, 07:47 AM:

I don't know how to make a clever link, but if you paste the link below you should get to a good recipe for instant (well, about 15 minutes) ginger beer.,1977,FOOD_9936_18931,00.html

I like this because you can adjust the sweet/hot to your own taste - most of the commercial ones are way too sweet.


About one third each red wine (Rioja type, ie fruity), orange juice & Soda water. Sugar to taste. Add some chopped fruit & refrigerate until very, very cold.

I checked with my Spanish contacts to get an authentic recipe. There is no authentic recipe. One serious suggestion was to use red wine & Fanta so feel free to experiment. if it's cold, fizzy & involves red wine stick it in a jug & call it Sangria. It might be good to substitute ginger beer for soda water.

Happy summer drinking.

#19 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2003, 09:01 AM:

Nice recipe! I'll have to track down some ginger beer. Last night I was lazy, so I got out my New York bartender's guide and picked "Gentle Ben"—tequila with orange juice and a half ounce each of vodka and gin. Nice for a hot July evening.

#20 ::: Steve ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2003, 04:46 PM:

For ginger beer, lucky sons and daughters of the Palmetto State have the wonderful Blenheim's available to them as the cheap and plentiful fiery goodness it was meant to be. I can find it occasionally in the DC area, and it's available via mailorder at an extensive markup, but I generally content myself with the sweeter (but excellent with bourbon or with vodka and Rose's) Reed's Extra Ginger.

#21 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2003, 07:39 PM:

There was this one place in Madrid where the Sangria was a jug of red wine plus orange juice, which you poured into a glass containing a slurry of sugar and brandy. This was not for the young.

Incidentally, if you make sangria with white wine and peaches rather than red wine and oranges it's called zurra.

#22 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2003, 07:40 PM:

Well, it's certainly amazing even if deliberately concocted...but you may take as a compliment the fact that I thought you'd improvised it!

#23 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2003, 10:26 PM:

My Mexican Wife's Sangria:

Soak sliced oranges, lemons and cherries overnight in 2/3 bottle of Brandy (or spiced rum; Capt. Morgan's is our favorite). Mix the fruit/brandy (or rum) with lemonade and limade (the little frozen concentrate ones you get at the grocery store) and slightly less water then recomended on the containers. Pour together with a light red wine. If you have a cheep bottle of some red that looked good in the grocery store but turned out to be too sweet or too heavy, that works well. add sugar to taste.

This makes roughly a gallon. Goes well at Holloween parties.

#24 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2003, 10:52 AM:

Peach Haagen-Dazs, huh? You'll have to tell me where you got your hands on that.

#25 ::: Holly M. ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2003, 12:08 PM:

Fried peaches sounds like what my mother calls fried apples, which in my opinion are apples stewed or sauteed in butter.

My mother-in-law makes a great peach tart that involves sautee-ing thin sliced peaches in lots of butter and sugar (and probably a little brandy, for those so inclined); then when it is gooey you drop a pie/tart crust on top and put it in the oven. Must be done in a cast iron skillet, of course.

#26 ::: jfwells ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2003, 02:58 PM:

Has anyone ever tried the Gen. Sherman with ginger beer that contains alcohol? I have home-brewed a couple of batches in the past and I think there are a couple of micro-breweries around that make it as well.

#27 ::: jfwells ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2003, 02:59 PM:

Oh, and wouldn't a *salted* glass be appropriate?

#28 ::: Scott Lynch ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2003, 08:02 PM:

How about garnishing with a black or gray twist-tie wrapped around a cinnamon stick?

#29 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2003, 11:50 AM:

Whoops, BSD, that's right -- Haagen Dazs only does peach sorbet and peach melba frozen yogurt. Breyer's fresh peach it is. I knew it had to be one of them, because they're the only brands I can eat.

Holly, that sounds wicked good. How deep is the layer of peaches?

Jfwells, I haven't tried the ginger beers in question. If they're fizzy, mildly sweet, and have a non-wimpy amount of ginger in them, they should work. I definitely wouldn't salt the glass, though. The salt on a Margarita is there to balance the acidity of the fruit juice. On a General Sherman it would just taste awful.

Now, a salted rim on double-size Caipirinhas would be interesting in hot weather. You'd want to leave a note identifying your next of kin.

#30 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2003, 12:30 PM:

HD Peach Sorbet? Haven't seen it, but now I must go a-hunting.

Hm. Perhaps that could be used, just with the ginger beer, as an "Appointment in Savannah".

#31 ::: Oliver Morton ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2003, 01:42 PM:

When making Pimms, which is an occupational hazard of british summers, I tend to start with peach slices soaked in gin in the fridge for a while. Add Pimms, ginger ale (not ginger beer, for this -- canada dry would be fine) and fresh mint. If you have some borage in flower add that too -- more for looks than anything else. Which leads me to ask whether there's any advantage to be had in introducing the peaches to the bourbon a few hours in advance of making the Sherman.

Incidentally, for anyone who finds Pimms too sweet (that would include me) it's worth seeking out Plymouth Fruit Cup, made by teh Plymouth Gin distillery -- same general idea but with bitters in it and a slightly more orangey taste. Available from Waitrose in the UK, no idea about the US

#32 ::: jfwells ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2003, 02:31 PM:

I was actually only mentioning the salted rim in reference to Sherman salting the earth - definitely wouldn't taste good.

#33 ::: Sheila ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2003, 03:27 PM:

While we're on the subject of peachy keeness in frozen states, Edy's makes a wonderful "Whole Fruit Peach Sorbet" (which also claims to be "Dairy-Free, Fat-Free, Gluten-Free, Kosher, Nut Allergen-Free"). Details are at

#34 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2003, 03:33 PM:

Edy's may be all those things, but if it contains guar gum, locust bean gum, carrageenan, or other emulsifiers of that sort, I won't be able to keep it down.

Jfwells, as far as I know, Sherman never sowed any ground with salt. Closest he came to that was burning Jackson, Miss. three times over.

#35 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2003, 05:18 PM:

Closest he came to that was burning Jackson, Miss. three times over.

Didn't work, grew back. You can't burn them out, you have to pull them out, roots and all, or they come back.

Oh, wait. I'm confusing Jackson, MS with Kudzu. Why on Earth would I do that?

#36 ::: Holly M. ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2003, 12:19 PM:

Teresa, by the time the peaches were cooked down, it was about equal depth peaches and crust. But the peach layer was very intense, almost like jam, but less sweet.

#37 ::: jfwells ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2003, 04:04 PM:

My mistake. I thought that salting the earth was part of his march to the sea/Savannah. Must have been propaganda in my Yankee grade school history books.

Living in the Pacific NW, our local historical figures do not inspire mixed drinks. Can you imagine a Lewis & Clark Cocktail?

1 Tbsp. Camas Root
Pinch of Salmon Pemican
Fill glass with glacial run-off
Stir & garnish with stick of elk jerky
Chase with a Dr. Rush Thunderbolt (calomel & jalap)

#38 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2003, 10:07 PM:

jfwells: I bet it would be possible, though, to come up with a specialty NW type cocktail. Let's see: it ought to have blackberrries in some form, I'd like to see some gin in there, juniper is an evergreen you know. Alternatively, coffee and beer are both standard Seattle beverages. Hmm. Blackberry coffee...


#39 ::: Kris Hasson-Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2003, 08:52 PM:

At the sadly-now-defunct tapas restaurant here in Portland, there was a wonderful dish of duck with sauteed peaches.

A family breakfast tradition is apples-n-onions fried together, usually served with german sausage and orange biscuits (make rolled biscuits, before baking thrust a sugar cube in the center of each, having soaked the sugar cube in melted frozen orange juice concentrate).

#40 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2003, 08:54 AM:

Apples and onions fried together are an alchemically wonderful combination.

I'm still thinking about things to do with fresh pineapple.

#41 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2003, 03:44 PM:

I fry apple/chicken sausage with the apples and onions. Apples and onions also make good stuffing for a roast chicken.

My first reaction to the pineapple remark is that what you do with fresh pineapple is to eat it as soon as possible. However, if we're talking drinks, I believe rum is tradtional and spiced rum strikes me as an interesting possibility.


#42 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2003, 09:17 AM:

My mistake. I thought that salting the earth was part of his march to the sea/Savannah. Must have been propaganda in my Yankee grade school history books.

Wouldn't that propaganda go the wrong way?

I just assumed you were getting your urbicides mixed up. Carthage is the most famous case of earth-salting, and I'm not entirely sure that one isn't apocryphal.

Hmm, 'urbicide' -- couldn't use that in speaking, could I? I'd probably say 'policide', even though that's half Greek and half Latin - and unlike the most famous case of that hybridization ('homosexual') not ironically fitting.

I need a drink.

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