Lord Nelson Brewery and the Lord Nelson Cocktail

The Lord Nelson Brewery and Pub is one of Australia’s great pre-federation treasures. As Sydney’s oldest pub it is steeped in tradition and thanks to some very caring and passionate people it has been restored to its 19th Century glory.

Definitely worth a look next time you are in Sydney for it’s terrific bar, accommodation and amazing historical atmosphere. However my reason for loving this little heritage building so much is its brilliant little micro-brewery that produces one of the most well-balanced dark ales I have had the pleasure of drinking and stocking.

Old Admiral Dark Ale, about as much flavour as you can pack into a dark ale without ruining the palate

How can I show my appreciation? Well a moment of boredom and a gentleman yelling “Horatio” out the front of my bar had me researching and tinkering away like an alchemist who just realised they forgot to try melting the lead before turning it into gold.

Something that has been on my mind of late is the Rumfastian. It was an early 19th Century punch that was very popular among the hunting gentry at the time and involved a pint of gin, a dozen eggs, some mulled wine and a “good” stout beer.

Part of the ingredients were stewed before being added to the rest and the entire concoction was served warm. This wouldn’t do, I can’t have a warm cocktail during Summer or even the first few months of an Australian Autumn (come to think of it, even an Australian Winter hardly deserves a warm cocktail).

So how can I recreate a warm punch, popular around the same time as Lord Horatio Nelson was losing an arm and most of an eye rather than hunting foxes, whilst making a cool and refreshing drink for our sunburnt climate? Easy, make a cocktail that’s both hot and cold.

Ladies and gentlemen please allow me to introduce to you the Lord Nelson Cocktail (a.k.a. HORATIO!!!)

2 oz Old Admiral
1 oz Gin
1/4 oz Amer Biere (yes a French Amaro in honour of all the victories and defeats)
1/4 oz Ramazotti Amaro
1/4 oz Old Admiral Syrup
4 dashes Rosemary tincture or Rosemary Bitters
2 dashes Boker’s Bitters
1 dash Bitter Truth Celery Bitters

Stir all of this over ice and pour slowly into a small collins or pot glass 1/4 filled with Old Admiral hot foam. Adding the foam to the glass fist will ensure a clean bench and also cause the cocktail to appear cloudy as pictured, this then settles to a dark opaque liquid in a similar fashion to traditional stout ales.

I used Jamie Boudreau‘s Beer Syrup recipe to create both a syrup and a foam with the important addition of monoglyceride instead of gelatine. Monoglyceride is fat-soluble emulsifier that is stable either above 50 degrees Celsius or when first melted into an oil or fat, by using this emulsifier I now have a foam that will only form correctly when it is warm… Ta Da… Warm beer and lemon flavoured foam!

When the cocktail settles down in the glass it creates a remarkable beer-like illusion in appearance. However the drinking experience is a complex yet light play on hot and cold, beer and spirit. Very tasty indeed!