If you’re a fan of the Steampunk genre, there are many ways to incorporate it into your life, right down to your evening cocktails and mixed drinks. Taking into consideration how the Victorian era folks might have made their alcoholic beverages and the fact that they used alcohol in part as a way to preserve and for its antiseptic properties, modern recipes have been created that have a true Steampunk flair. Here we look at some tasty recipes as well as resources for finding out more about how to create your own steampunk cocktails and mixed drinks at home.
SteamDrunks: 101 Steampunk Cocktails and Mixed Drinks
This book is a great resource that offers readers 101 delicious recipes using all natural ingredients that you are likely to already have at home. Treat yourself to some historically authentic recipes for Victorian punch, tea and more. Whether you are into light cocktails or something a little stronger, this book has a recipe that will please you. It combines humor along with interesting historical tidbits from the Victorian era that readers will love as much as the drink recipes. These recipes were popular during the 1880s to 1910s.
One recipe offered in this book is for a Victorian version of eggnog, always a Christmas favorite. Today, and even more so back in Victorian times, there was a concern about salmonella when using raw eggs. The Victorians learned that they could kill the disease in foods and water by using the preservative and antiseptic properties of alcohol. Sugar was also used for a preservative. Here is the recipe:
White House Egg Nog
- 1/2 Gallon of whole milk
- 8 Eggs
- 8 Tbsp sugar
- 8 Wine glasses of brandy*
- 3 Wine glasses of rum*
*the wine glass measurement used in Victorian times is about 6 ounces in modern measurements
- First, separate the eggs whites and yolks.
- Beat the yolks well by hand or with a mixer, then add the sugar.
- Add both alcohols slowly to the bowl with the yolks and sugar.
- In another bowl, whip the egg whites until they are stiffened.
- Then add the milk and half of the egg whites to the yolks and alcohol bowl.
- Continue to beat until well blended together, then take the remaining egg whites and gently stir them into the bowl of other ingredients.
- Refrigerate for a minimum of 1/2 hour to allow the flavors to mesh and to chill the beverage. Serve and enjoy!
The Drunken Earl
The Drunken Earl is a mixed cocktail. For this drink, you will need:
- 6-ounce cocktail glass
- Rye whiskey
- Earl Grey tea (pre-chilled)
- Cocktail shaker
- Orange bitters
- Orange peel
- Fill the cocktail glass with ice and put aside.
- Add two cups of ice to a cocktail shaker, then add 1.5 ounces of Rye whiskey, 1.5 ounces of Earl Grey and a couple dashes of orange bitters.
- Shake the container vigorously until the shaker feels icy cold all over.
- Remove the ice from your cocktail glass and strain the beverage from the shaker into the glass.
- Rub orange peel around the brim of the cocktail glass and then garnish with a sliver of orange peel.
The traditional manner of enjoying Absinthe requires a glass, fine absinthe, sugar cubes, a carafe of ice cold water and an absinthe spoon. If you do not have an absinthe spoon, you may substitute a common household fork. A regular wine glass will serve nicely as the glass mentioned here.
To prepare, start by pouring one ounce of absinthe into the glass. Next, place the absinthe spoon or substitute fork across the glass so that it is resting upon the rim. Place a sugar cube on the spoon or fork. Pour a small amount of water onto the sugar cube and allow it to sit and soften the sugar.
As the sugar cube begins to dissolve, use the carafe and begin pouring a very narrow stream of water onto the sugar cube, slowly pouring about five ounces of water into the glass in total. With the combined alcohol and water, this makes a six ounce drink. Stir the remaining sugar into the drink. Now sit back a relax, sipping your drink slowly and rolling it around the mouth to truly experience the flavors.
While in history absinthe was viewed to be a highly addictive psychoactive drug and hallucinogen due to its containing trace amounts of thujone, it is now known that those claims were highly exaggerated. While absinthe was formerly banned in the United States and Europe, it has now been legalized after the realization that it is not really any more harmful than any other alcohol.
You can read more about the history of absinthe in the Steampunk Empire forum where people discuss their own experiences with it.
Industrial-Themed Bars in New York City
If you live in or are visiting New York and are looking for a spot to have a drink where your Steampunk style will fit in perfectly, the New York bar scene has several options. These establishments combine modern day preparation techniques of food and beverages and serve them in a vintage style environment. The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog serves its customers unusual and hard to find period creations and beverages such as spiced wines and drinks with an absinthe base.
At The District Bar, customers will find an interior furnished with parts from old factories to give it a real industrial feel.This bar also serves cocktails inspired by the old saloons. The place is the perfect combination of vintage meets new and serves up a great 19th century drink known as the Suffering Bastard.
Another establishment, Boulton and Watt, offers an industrial style theme as well. With these bars, people not only go to enjoy the food and drinks, they also enjoy to the unique vintage atmosphere which is a vivid reminder of the past.