One of tart
Two of sweet
Three of hard
Four of weak…
If this sounds a little like a potion or a spell, it is. It’s the basic recipe by which many cocktails are created and is the closest thing to magic that I have found on this earth.
Halloween is my favorite day of the year and I wanted to do a post in its honor. However I am not fond of the syrupy sweet liqueurs and the artificially colored concoctions that appear in most drinks created for the holiday. Call me a purest, but my allegiance to the classics trumps novelty, even on this very special day. With that in mind D suggested that we put forth a few cocktails that capture the “spirit” (sorry, it was bound to happen) of All Hallows’ Eve, whilst also being refined enough to serve at any elegant cocktail party.
Strega, an Italian liqueur produced since 1860, is a hauntingly complex spirit made with over 70 botanicals including saffron, fennel and mint. In Italian “strega” means “witch.” It is aptly named as it is produced in Benevento, a town that, according to legend, has long been recognized as the gathering ground for the witches of the world. We often enjoy Strega on its own or over ice, but it is also an excellent mixing spirit. Try it in Autumn Leaves or Macbeth #2.
In ancient times the night we now know as Halloween marked the end of the calendar year. In our region this distinction seems fitting, as Halloween falls right around the end of the harvest. This is a delicious seasonal beverage perfect for the transition to the winter months.
- .75 ounce rye
- .75 ounce Calvados
- .75 ounce sweet vermouth
- .25 ounce Strega
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters or cinnamon tincture
Stir over ice until chilled and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with an orange twist.
D is a huge fan of Drambuie and was immediately taken with this recipe. Enjoy this simple yet complex cocktail but please, do not say its name!!
- 1 ounce Drambuie
- .75 ounce Strega
Shake over ice. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice or serve straight up in a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
Corpse Reviver # 2
The Corpse Reviver #2 is a true classic. First appearing in Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Handbook in 1930, the bevvy was devised as a hangover remedy, hence the name. It is a delicious, tart, citrusy concoction worthy of consumption any day of the year.
- .75 ounce gin
- .75 ounce Cointreau
- .75 ounce Lillet Blanc
- .75 ounce fresh lemon juice
- Dash absinthe
Add a dash of absinthe to a chilled cocktail glass and swirl to coat the inside, discarding any excess. Shake the remaining ingredients over ice and strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with a cherry or a lemon twist.
I have always been crazy for jack-o’-lanterns. Then several years ago I started collecting tiki mugs. One day it dawned on me: they are basically the same thing – scary faces carved into an object. If you happen to have tiki mugs on hand they are the perfect vessel for Hallowe’en libations. You can put any drink in them and still look festive! If you want to go the extra mile and fill the mug with a drink continuous with the theme, allow us to recommend this simplified version of the Zombie.
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1 ounce unsweetened pineapple juice
- 1 ounce passion fruit syrup
- 1 ounce light rum
- 1 ounce gold rum
- 1 ounce 151 rum
- 1 teaspoon 1:1 demerara sugar syrup
- Dash Angostura Bitters
Shake over crushed ice. Pour unstrained into tiki mug of choice. Garnish with mint