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.
Hello friends! Is your holiday baking well underway? You might want add the biscochito (bis-ko-CHEE-toe) to your repertoire, New Mexico’s official state cookie. This melt in your mouth confection is
flavored with anise, cinnamon and brandy and is often associated with Christmastime. In the Spanish culture, with the tradition of Las Posadas, where actors reenact Mary and Joseph looking for shelter for the birth of the Christ child, biscochitos are often served in the celebration following the event.
It seems every family thinks their abuela (grandmother) or tia (aunt) makes the best biscochito. Call us crazy, but our idea of fun would be to taste test biscochitos to come up with our favorite. This recipe is adapted from one found on the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau. This dough does get soft quickly so put it in the fridge when you are not working with it so it stays cold. And yes, equally delicious with a glass of wine or a cappuccino.
Celebrate New Year’s Eve on the Santa Fe Plaza, December 31, with bonfires, hot chocolate, music, food trucks and more.
- 1 ½ cups shortening or lard
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons anise seeds
- 4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons brandy (can substitute apple juice)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons sugar
In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, anise seeds and brandy and beat until incorporated. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Gradually add to the shortening/sugar mixture, mixing until dough forms. Remove dough onto cellophane. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
To make cookies, roll out batches of dough (keeping unused dough refrigerated) to between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters. Mix cinnamon and the 3 tablespoons of sugar on plate. Dip each cookie in cinnamon-sugar mixture on one side and place on cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until cookies are browned at the edges.