Voracious this year asked local food producers to provide their favorite Thanksgiving recipes. We'll run one recipe each day through Nov. 23; if you collect them all, you'll have a complete feast.
Many Thanksgiving hosts greet their guests with cocktails, but Sound Spirits' Steven Stone is a firm believer in the welcoming powers of punch.
"It's pretty yummy," Stone says of his recipe for Hot Gin Punch, which he adapted from Drinking With Dickens, a drinks guide written by Charles Dickens' great-grandson.
Like the punch, Stone's Ebb + Flow gin has British roots. His very secret gin recipe is based on a recipe he found in a nineteenth-century British distilling manual.
"You can't just Google a gin recipe," says Stone, who in 2010 opened Seattle's first distillery since Prohibition.
Stone initially experimented with gin recipes of his own devising, but was disappointed with the results. "I tried creating one from scratch for a really long time," he says. "I made some really good ones, but not great ones."
While the potential of the salvaged British gin recipe was immediately apparent, it took Stone four years of tweaking to produce the spirit he wanted to make. He now manufactures gin, vodka - "made from 100 percent Washington barley, so that's pretty unique," Stone points out - and is readying to release an aquavit after Christmas.
Mixing a punch, Stone says, isn't very different from cooking a green bean casserole.
"It all depends on your skill in managing flavors," he says.
Home bartenders working with Stone's recipe should have a head start on the flavor balancing act, he says.
"It's pretty balanced, spice and sweet," he says. "Even the pineapple is brilliant."
Ebb+Flow Hot Gin Punch
3 teacups of Ebb+Flow Gin
3 teacups of Madeira wine
Pinch of grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
2 teaspoons of brown sugar
6 large lemon and orange twists
Small slice of orange
1 fresh pineapple
4 large spoons of honey
Juice of 2 lemons
Mix all the ingredients in saucepan and place on the heat. Let the mixture simmer without boiling for 20 -30 minutes. While it cooks balance the sweet/sour taste with honey and lemon to your taste. You can also re-warm the mix; the punch arguably gets better and better the longer it simmers.
When you're satisfied with the mixture, pour into a teapot and serve hot in tea cups. Alternatively, serve form a traditional punch bowl.