White Plush – Recipe below from jerry Thomas’ ‘The Bon Vivants Companion’
So I’m going to reverse this a little, the white plush story and recipe follows….
The drink itself is like a milk punch (07-01-2018) although perhaps without the addition of sweet. It’s a combination I quite like, tastes a little like a milk shake, and when shaken you get a lovely froth on top, hence the name (white plush = a thick luxurious white rug). The story behind it is well worth a read, and first pop’s up in his 1887 version, this was written after Jerry had passed away, and the way it reads is a long way from the more business like approach JT has towards his other drinks.
Use small bar glass
HAND a bottle of Bourbon or rye whiskey to the customer and let him help himself.
Fill up the glass with fresh milk.
A curious story about the. origin of this drink is thus told by the New York Herald: a There are some mixed drinks that are standbys, and are always popular, such as cocktails, punches and juleps; but every little while there will be a new racket sprung on the public that will have a great run for a time, and then get knocked out by another. About a month ago white plush got its start in this way: There was a country buyer down from New England somewhere, and a party of dry goods men were trying to make it pleasant for him. So they took him into a swell barroom down town, and were going to open sour wine. Same old story, you know, get him full as a balloon and then work him for a big order. It turned out that this countryman was not such a flat as they thought him. Though he had been swigging barrels of hard cider and smuggled Canada whiskey for the last twenty years, he pleaded the temperance business on them; said he never drank, and he guessed he’d just take a glass of water if they’d get him one, as he was kinder thirsty walkin’ round so much. Well, that was a setback for the boys. They knew he had lots of money to spend, and he was one of those unapproachable ducks that have got to be warmed up before you can do anything with them.
“Oh, take something they said, take some milk”
“Well, I guess a glass of milk would go sorter good, said he”
Someone suggested kumyss and told him what it was.
As they did not have any kumyss in the place they gave him some milk and seltzer. That’s about the same thing. One of the boys gave the bartender a wink and he put a dash of whiskey in it. The old man did not get on to it all. He thought it was the seltzer that flavoured it. The next round the seltzer was left out altogether and more whiskey put in. They kept on giving it to him until he got pretty well set up. It’s a very insidious and seductive drink. Pretty soon the countryman got funny and tipped his glass over on the table. As it spread around he said:
“Gosh, it looks like white plush, don’t it?”
“So it does, said the boys. Give the gentleman another yard of white plush, here”