Picon Punch is an old libation with a long history in the Silver State. We’ve talked before about how the Basque people — those from a region in Europe about the size of Rhode Island that includes both
Spain and France — immigrated to Nevada and other parts of the west during the mid-nineteenth century. Many of them were sheepherders and they set up boardinghouses across the state as way-stations for themselves. The boardinghouses that remain are now restaurants and the Picon Punch is a product of those establishments. Some lament the drink used to be better when Amer Picon was available in the United States (alas, it is only available France) so we used Torani Amer which is a common substitution. Having no frame of reference for what used-to-be, we enjoyed the caramel, orange and brandy flavors of this cocktail.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area near Las Vegas features a 13-mile scenic loop, as well as opportunities for hiking, biking and rock climbing.
- 2 ½ ounces Torani Amer
- 1/2 ounce grenadine
- 1/2 ounce brandy
- Crushed ice
- 1-2 ounces club soda
- Lemon twist
Mix Torani Amer, grenadine, and brandy in a cocktail shaker. Add crushed ice to glass. Pour brandy mixture over ice. Top with club soda and a lemon twist.
Nevada became a state in 1864, just a few days before the second election for Abraham Lincoln. The state founders wanted to make sure Nevada’s three electoral votes would be cast for the Republican incumbent.
The Silver State has a long mining tradition. The Basque people — those from a region in Europe about the size of Rhode Island that includes both Spain and France — immigrated to Nevada and other parts of the west during the mid-nineteenth century. The Basques initially came to work in the gold and silver mines during the gold rush era but then decided shepherding was more lucrative. All of those silver and gold prospectors needed meat and wool to clothe themselves. In addition, the Basques set up boardinghouses across the state as way-stations for themselves. Today, the boardinghouses that remain are now restaurants.
The state still has a sizable Basque population and of course these people brought their food traditions with them from Europe. Flan is a Spanish custard made with eggs and milk. The shepherding Basques would have found it easy to make this dessert (probably with sheep’s milk) in the Dutch ovens they favored that they dug into pits in the ground. Our version here is a streamlined version of flan, adapted from Nigella Lawson that is so super easy you will wonder why you’ve never made it before.
Bundle up for the North Lake Tahoe Snow Fest, February 27-March 8, which includes parades, fireworks, a polar bear swim, a snow building contest and much more.
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
- 12 ounce can evaporated milk
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Hot water
In a small sauce pan, combine the sugar and water. Heat over medium high heat until the mixture caramelizes and almost reaches the color of maple syrup. Remove from heat and quickly pour into a 9-inch round pan, making sure the caramel covers the entire bottom of pan. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, the evaporated milk and the eggs. Beat or whisk until the eggs are fully incorporated into the milk. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Place the 9-inch pan with the caramel into a larger roasting pan. Pour the milk/egg mixture into the 9-inch pan on top of the caramel. Add the hot water into the roasting pan, to about one inch full. Very carefully place the nesting pans into a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for about 45-50 minutes (the flan will be slightly brown on top but still quite jiggly. Do not overbake!). Remove 9-inch pan with flan from the water bath and let cool on the counter. Once very cool, invert the pan on a plate large enough to contain the caramel syrup.