Hallowe’en Howl

Hallowe’en Howl

Halloween Cocktails

Hallowe’en Cocktails

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.

Autumn Leaves 

(Jefferey Morgenthaler)

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

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.

Macbeth #2

Macbeth #2

Macbeth #2

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

Corpse Reviver # 2

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.

Zombie

Zombie

Zombie

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

Sources:

http://cocktails.about.com/od/liqueurscordials/p/Strega-Liqueur.htm

http://www.diffordsguide.com/cocktails/recipe/2261/autumn-leaves

http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink14xy378.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpse_Reviver

 

Summer Sippers

Summer Sippers

Summer Sunset

Summer Sunset

Summer is in full swing, at least in my hemisphere, and this means it’s the perfect time to sit back and relax with a refreshing frosty beverage. For most of the year I prefer a short drink, to the point that when a bartender asks me what I like I always specify no rocks and no soda before I even consider the spirits that suit my mood. But for a couple months each summer these rules fly out the window. The dog days of summer beg for a long, cool, revitalizing bevvy. My normally spirit-forward palette suddenly craves seasonal fruit and citrus. Here are a few thirst-quenching cocktails guaranteed to beat the heat!

Sour Cherry Gin Sling

(Adapted from http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/sour-cherry-gin-slings)

Fresh sour cherries are only available for a couple of weeks a year so get them while the getting is good! Be sure to buy an extra pound or two to make your own maraschino cherries!!)

For the sour cherry syrup:

Cherry Syrup

Cherry Syrup

  • 1 pound sour cherries, stems removed
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • Zest of ½ orange

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat (there is no need to pit the cherries). Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth, discarding the solids. Allow the syrup to cool before use. The syrup will keep about 1 week in the refrigerator.

For the Slings:

Cherry Sling ingredients

Cherry Sling ingredients

  • 2 ounces Gin (we used Broker’s)
  • .66 ounce Cointreau
  • .66 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 2.5 ounces sour cherry syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Soda water

Pour the gin, Cointreau, lime, and cherry syrup into a large Collins glass (12-14 ounces). Fill with ice, leaving only a couple of ounces of headroom. Top with soda (not too much or you will dilute the wonderful flavors!) and a couple of dashes of bitters. Garnish with a lime wheel and a maraschino cherry. Bask in the sunshine!

 

 

Violet Fizz

(From A.J. Rathbun’s Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz)

Our liquor cabinet is full of obscure ingredients purchased with a specific cocktail or two in mind. Recently I’ve made it my mission to find additional uses for these liqueurs. The Violet Fizz marries one of my favorite floral spirits with citrus to produce summer in a glass.

Violet Fizz:

Violet Fizz

Violet Fizz

  • 2 ounces gin (we used Broker’s)
  • .5 ounce Crème de Violette
  • .25 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • .25 ounce simple syrup
  • Club soda

Build the drink in a highball glass (8-9 ounces) by adding the gin, violette, lemon juice and simple syrup. Fill with ice until ¾ full. Top with club soda. (Tip: always use a fresh can or single-serving bottle of soda when creating fizzy cocktails. Family-sized bottles and open cans loose their carbonation quickly.) Garnish with a lemon wheel, maraschino cherry, or a violet if you have one!

Strega Fizz

(Source: http://www.cocktaildb.com/recipe_detail?id=2228)

Strega is an Italian herbal liqueur, reminiscent of a simplified yellow Chartreuse, but with more citrus notes. It is relatively inexpensive and drinks well on its own or mixed into cocktails. This simple recipe, which seems to capture the essence and color of sunshine, is delightfully light and quenching.

Strega Fizz:

  • 1 ounce gin (again we used Broker’s)
  • 1 ounce Strega
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • Club soda
Strega Fizz

Strega Fizz

Add the gin, Strega, and lemon juice to a highball glass (8-9 ounces). Fill with ice until ¾ full. Top with soda. Garnish with a lemon wheel.