When life hands you lemons, make lemonade, eh?
What about when life hands you a watery, low on flavor but not sure I’d want to taste it anyway liqueur? Well, in this case you make a cocktail. Much like the speakeasy bartenders making Alexanders out of Bathtub Brandy during Prohibition, a bit of creativity was called in to clean up the goop in this bottle.
Thanks a sponsored a little between-the-blogs contest, I received a few bottles of some Holiday themed spirits, namely Hiram Walker GingerBread Spice and Pumpkin Spice liqueurs. I appreciate the idea, but I have yet to see something on the shelf that gets these right (remember BOLS Pumpkin smash? uggh). Sadly, these are no exception.
Now mind you, I appreciate the bottle, and that attempt at this flavor, but nonetheless, I question how this ever got past quality control. This is a marketing sprung product that feels cheaply flavored and developed, a “mix Neutral Spirit A with Flavoring X and water down until underproof”. Thank goodness the contest called for the Gingerbread, which is salvageable. The Pumpkin Spice… well, I’ll wait ’til he’s done posting something, but Craig has got something homemade and to damn-well die for. Stick with the homemade.
So, like I say, time to make something out of this. The best thing to do in this case, for my creative palate, anyway, is to just go with it. The initial thought is to use this as a replacement for Pimento Dram in a Lion’s Tail or something similar, but the flavor is just not present, and gets washed away into the aftertaste rather quickly. So, I bring in Allspice and Molasses to really bring out the Gingerbread aspects of the liqueur. The Half and Half makes it a nice creamy rich dessert drink, and the Fee Bitters punch out that clove/cinnamon thing I expect from anything with a holiday flavor. The rum? Well, it’s just delicious. I recommend Cruzan Dark, but Coruba or Goslings could make a very interesting, if not even richer flavor (and probably darker than good tea).
- 1 oz Hiram Walker Gingerbread Liqueur
- 1 oz Dark Rum
- 1 oz Half & Half
- 1 oz Allspice Syrup
- 1 tsp Molasses
- 2 dashes Fee Bitters
Shake without Ice for thirty seconds. Add Ice to the shaker and shake until well-frosted. Strain into a Coupe, garnished with Spice Drops.
- 8 oz Water
- 16 oz Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Allspice Berries
- 1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
Set water and Allspice in a pot over high heat until boiling. Add sugar and reduce heat to medium, stir until sugar is dissolved. Let cool for 30 minutes covered, and strain into jar or bottle. Makes about 2 cups.
This is the first of the four runners up of the Forbidden Island Cocktail Contest, Corpse Canonizer, by Kevin aka Paranoid123! This drink is on the specials menu at Forbidden Island from now through November! This one’s a real lipsmacker. It starts off spicy, then moves into the florals of the gin and St. Germain. I’m wide awake after this one, and will certainly be back for another. Cheers to the runner up!
- 3/4 oz Martin Miller Westbourne Strength Gin
- 3/4 oz Orange Curacao
- 3/4 oz St Germain
- 3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
- dash Herbsaint
- dash Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with Lemon twist
First things first, I’ve got to give Rick over at Kaiser Penguin what the kids are calling “mad props” for coming up with this doozy of a Mixology Monday. And let me tell you, after a week of testing, my liver is well versed in exactly how much of a doozy it is.
So, here’s a bit of a historical take on this. The limit one per customer, as far as has ever been told, started with Don the Beachcomber. His menu, shown below, has a number of drinks with special “restrictions” on them. This is a 1956 souvenir menu mailer from Hawaii. Mahalo to Mimi at Arkiva Tropika for the imagery.
As you can see, there are quite a few drinks there with a bit of a limit on them, and for some damned good reason. These drinks are killer-dillers in the literal, or LIVERal sense. Oh ho, fun with words.
Anyhow, one of the Beachcomber’s most famous stories comes from the time a man wagered Don, betting he could down 5 Zombies (limit two) without breaking a rum-soaked sweat. So, they both put 100 bucks in the kitty, and agree to the challenge the next night. The man shows up, Don starts mixing, One Zombie, two Zombie, and as he’s sucking down the third, the fella’s head hits the table with a mighty thump. Don won that wager, but not without a trick or two up his short sleeves. Don had mixed some glycerin, a sugar alcohol, into the drink for its property of hitting the system mighty quick. Never bet on another man’s game, Don’s saying goes, and I can’t find a better example of it.
Moving onto the now, seeing the potential for this Mixology Monday, the question that came to my head is, how many Zombies are we going to see? I’ve actually been rather surprised by the innovation, after reading posts and talking with a few bloggers and bartenders. There are some great, full to the brim with booze drinks out there I hadn’t seen covered before. In the hopes of avoiding wearing the same dress another belle at the ball, I decided to whip up this little concoction. This thing’s the real deal, and as I’ve certainly discovered, as Don and Vic once did, it all begins with the right Rum.
Wisdom of Pelé
- 1 oz Demerara 151
- 1 oz Dark Jamaican (Coruba)
- 1 oz Light Virgin Islands (Cruzan)
- 1/2 oz Aged Martinique (St. James extra old)
- 3/4 oz Lime juice
- 3/4 oz GrapeFruit juice (Oroblanco)
- 3/4 oz Falernum
- 1/2 oz Honey Mix
- 1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup
- 2 dashes Fees Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters
- 1/4 oz. Navan Vanilla Liqueur (float)
Put all ingredients except Navan into a Shaker and mix 6 seconds on a standing mixer. Pour with ice into 14 oz. Zombie glass and float Navan.
Okay, so I put a few too many ingredients in. It’s tiki, things like to get complex. This drink is worth the effort, smooth as silk, and hits like a sledgehammer. This is definitely a onesy, maybe even for the whole evening, and not just because the bartender had a hell of a time putting the damned thing together. Like I say, it’s all thanks to the rum. The rest of the stuff is just notes taken from what the rums were saying… and yes, a few tests into this the rum started talking (maybe literally, it was a lot of rum). Yes, the booze outweighs the others with this one, but it goes down like Polynesian lightning.
The Wisdom of Pelé? That comes the morning after having two of these. I’ve got a punch version I’ll be putting on the site soon as well, the Wrath of Pelé, as soon as I can get a few more “volunteers”.