Previous: Weary Traveler, Kushi Bar, Nostrano
Liquor of choice: Benedictine
Conversion experience: Tequila cocktail at Gramercy Tavern
Makes his own: bitters, infusions, cordials, tinctures
What's shaking: As one of the instigators of the Slow Pig event this past fall at the Madison Club, Vogel is at the forefront of pushing the craft cocktail scene here. The event brought together Madison and Milwaukee bartenders to each serve two signature cocktails.
A culinary school alum, he is famous for his punches as well as his multiple homemade recipes and additives. He is currently working on a Vin de Kumquat liqueur that contains white wine, sugar, vodka, pink peppercorns, cinnamon, and allspice.
Discussing the origin of his cocktail obsession: "I wanted to be able to make anything. I had the book Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh out on the bar and anyone could flip through and ask if I could make it - and I wanted to be able to say 'yes.'"
Of his signature punches, Vogel quips that "Punches are the soups of the cocktail world. They even go together like a soup: a little of this a little of that." A flavorful trick he employs is to always thin a punch out with tea instead water. "It is a little like using stock instead of water in a soup," he says. "Just trust your nose."
Blood Orange Cognac Punch
- 4 blood oranges, peeled
- 2 navel oranges, peeled
- 1 lemon, peeled
- juice of 1 lime
- 3 quarts high-quality tea
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups Pierre Ferrand cognac
- 1 cup Appleton Special rum
- 1 cup Smith & Cross rum
- 1 cup Kronan Swedish
- fresh sage leaves
In a large bowl, muddle the blood orange peels, navel orange peels, and lemon peel with the sugar. Let sit for one hour. Steep tea and pour warm into the bowl to dissolve sugar. Juice the fruits and pour into the bowl, also adding the lime juice. Strain mixture. Add the liquors, stir, and chill punch in the refrigerator or outside. For serving, garnish with additional blood orange slices and fresh sage leaves in the punch bowl. (As of this writing, Kronan Swedish Punsch was available at Riley's Wines of the World. It is a sweet liquor, so if you omit it you may want to add a little sugar.)