shaken

Pillar of Autumn (End Of Season)

Living in New England, you get rich flavors growing all over the place in random orchards and farms so we’re lucky to have a lot of variety, which works wonders when making cocktails. Like this one.

When I started writing this post, I had a terrible cold (probably not “terrible” but I’m a big baby when it comes to getting sick), it was a week before Thanksgiving (aka ‘the only time of the year you should openly be thankful of anything’) and that deep regret for what I and an unnamed turkey would do to my body was but a distant bridge far, far away. Well, November is done and the struggle is here. Fun fact, kids: if you eat enough cookies and caramel flan at a steady pace throughout the day, you become a grumpy asshole that swears you can communicate with animals small & large. It’s a bad look. I regret nothing.

Autumn recipes are done. I think the way that Labor day marks the end of me being able to wear some bitchin’ white linen capris, Thanksgiving marks the end of fall weather drinks and sadly, the end of socially acceptable drinking of pumpkin beer with sugar rims. I say fuck-that to all of those things because if I could, I’d kick back a Budweiser with a sugar rim (on the can!) while wearing my comfortable white linen. So today’s drink may come too late but I’ll leave that up to you. All I want is for you to get wasted.

A shaken drink with muddled apples & ginger, fresh lime juice that joins forces with the pressed juices, Averna amaro and cherry bitters to bring it depth and finally, Applejack and bourbon to give it strength. It’s sweet and refreshing. Exactly what I’d want to drink in between those tasty stirred cocktails I’ve recommended you sip:

I’ll have some new “WINTER” cocktails shortly, or what I like to call it: “Everything around me is cold & dead and all I want to do is drink Mexican hot chocolate under fur blankets until April”. I’m not above calling a cocktail “(Lil)Let It Go”, so expect that one. #sorrynotsorry.

Pillar of Autumn
1 oz bourbon whiskey (Berkshire Mountain Distillers)
1 oz Applejack (bonded if you roll like that)
1/2 Averna amaro
3/4 oz lime juice
2 dashes cedar cherry bitters (Apothecary Bitters)
1/3 of McIntosh apple, peeled + small piece of ginger, peeled
2 barspoons of real maple syrup

Take about 1/3rd of a peeled apple, chop it into smaller chunks and add to empty shaker. Add the peeled piece of ginger and muddle them together until you’ve extracted most of the juice.

Add the lime juice, bitters, Averna, bourbon & Applejack to the shaker, along with the maple syrup.

Fill shaker with ice and take it for a ride until chilled.

Double strain into a chilled glass. No garnish needed.

[ Enjoy ]

Initially I made this with Virgil Kane’s ginger-infused bourbon which is DELICIOUS and if you have the chance, definitely check them out, be it for this drink or simply to sip it on a leisurely walk at the park. I wasnt able to find enough of it around to make it the basis of this cocktail however, hence the muddled ginger.

Almondo

If you like drinks that are different, this is one of those. Tart from the citrus and the sherry, sweet from the orgeat and smoky from the mezcal & hot sauce. If you have some spicy bitters you’ve been meaning to use again, now is the time

Mic check, 2-1-2. Sibilance… Sibilance… Sorry, its been a while so I wanted to prepare to write this in the same fashion I would prep for my one-man-show at random Boston train stations. What would that show consist of, you ask?! I’m not sure. Probably me crying and sweating in equal amounts while I drink Everclear out of a pink flask; Hey, you asked. I felt it was time to start writing again, but since my writing was never really good to begin with, I can only imagine this is gonna’ hurt you more than it hurts me. But hey, maybe you’re in need of a good dick joke today so perhaps this works out in the end?! It probably won’t.

So lets get this out of the way: I’ve been gone for a long time. Life has been complicated (to put it lightly) lately and I took some time off. To those of you that had made bets on me having lost-my-fucking-mind and was last seen running naked and scared in the beautiful New England wilderness: close. Pretty damn close but no. Fun fact for like 2 of you: the woods scare the shit out of me. I mean, they’re so damn quiet and there’s no cocktail bars, nor hair salons for miles; Add to that the fact that everyone I know that does go camping, somehow ends up packing a bottle of Fireball on every trip… I’m good. Really. I’m good.

I made my own orgeat for some tasty mai-tais a while back (which you can read about HERE) and thought: mezcal… for some reason. But hey, it works. Tequila will get the job done here (when all else fails in life, you know tequila wont #ladiesamiright?!) but the backbone that comes with quality mezcal (Montelobos here) really gives it more weight.

Almondo

2 oz Amontillado sherry [ Lustao ]

1 oz mezcal [ Montelobos ]

1 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz orgeat [ YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN ]

1/2 oz simple syrup

2 dashes of hot sauce [ Cholula ]

Add all the ingredients in your shaker tin, add a bunch of ice and wake it up.

Strain into a chilled collins glass with ice and garnish with a lime wedge.

[ Enjoy ]

The major modifier here would be the sherry. I played around with Oloroso, which was way too dry and ended with Amontillado which had a lovely sweetness but I’m curious if a good Manzanilla would work just right here. If you enjoy sherry cocktails, let me know what some of your favorites are.

 

Lion’s Tail

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If you’ve never been to Drink [in the now frozen tundra that is Boston], the place consists of connected bars where they tailor cocktails based on your preference and suggest different drinks in accordance to it. That’s probably an accurate, yet oversimplification of this place but if you know what you like or want to try new things, this is definitely the place.

Some of our libations from that evening:

a vodka Monkey Gland.
a Pegu Club style gin-gin mule(?) Warning: drinking this was like tasting chocolate for the first time.
Dead Man’s Mule (shutTheFrontDoor was this good)
Chartreuse tasting [I now know the difference between the 2, you guys!]
Allspice Dram sampling [This is what lead to the conversation on the Lion’s Tail]

…basically anything with their in-house ginger beer could not go into my mouth fast enough.

This cocktail, though not my “favorite of all time!” is special because it was given to me as a birthday gift. Not the drink itself, but the knowledge of it, in the form of a hand written recipe [taken from some old looking book from the back of the bar], along with a tiny bottle of St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram wrapped in tape with the words “happy birthday”. It was a night of first (I’ve never been 31 until that day. I think Im doing fine with this age. I could do without the peeing blood part but that’s normal, right?), I’d never been to Drink and I had never met such a bad-ass working the stick as Estrellita, our bartender for the evening.

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Bourbon whiskey
Allspice Dram
Lime juice
Demerara syrup*
Angostura

*I first tested this out with regular simple syrup (1/1) before making some Demerara syrup and I gotta say, it really is better with the Demerara, as it gives it a subtle difference in the sweetness along with reinforcing the rich color of this drink.

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The real point of focus here, where your drink will really excel is the Bourbon, as the cocktail itself can be slightly on the sweet side in itself, you’d want to stay away from sweeter tasting bourbons (Maker’s Mark for example. Though that is still my favorite for a whiskey sour) and just the same, you don’t want to kill it with something that’s gonna kick its ass (I’m looking at you 101 wild turkey).

1 3/4 part Wild Turkey 81 bourbon
1/4 part St Elizabeth allspice dram
1/2 part lime juice
1/2 part demerara syrup
2 dashes of Angostura bitters

shake it like it owes you money.
double strain into a martini/coupe glass and garnish with a lime wheel.
[Enjoy]

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