Thursday, January 19, 2012

A new, perhaps terrible, liqueur in our cabinet

To be fair, the name "Blackmaker Root Beer Liqueur" should have been warning enough. Root Beer is great, especially homemade root beer. Especially on a hot summer day. But turn it into alcohol and its presence in drinks takes me back 20 years when most of the people around me were looking to their "cocktails" to be as close to soda pop as possible (I was a snob- I liked bourbon and brandy).
But what can I say, I'm a sucker for a nice label. And look at that label- very typographic and the illustration reminds me of nice woodcut. So I'm a sucker.
I mixed it up in equal parts with the Russell's Reserve we were gifted at Christmas (again, I'm a snob and we're only using it mixed), squeezed in half a meyer lemon and then shook shook shook with ice. Voila! Poured into tiny taster cocktail glasses. Blech. Horrid. I would rather suck on bad cough drops.
Then it occurred to me. Thanks to my generous Santa of a husband, I have a lifetime supply of various bitters in hand.
A few dashes (really it takes a lot of bitter to take the sweet off this drink!) and the whole things was transformed. Complex palate revealed, warm on the way down (which is so nice after a day in the snow) and disaster averted. The Blackmaker is made with nutmeg, wintergreen, cinnamon, clove, ginger, sweet birch and anise. Thanks to the bitter all but the wintergreen revealed itself, trailed by a little bit of vanilla that was hiding in the Russell's.
If you're dying to try this cocktail, here's the real portions:
1.5 oz Blackmaker Root Beer Liqueur
1.5 oz Russell's Reserve 10 year Bourbon
3 dashes of Regan's Orange Bitters (No. 6)
1 t fresh lemon juice (I used Meyer Lemon)
Loads of ice, shaken for half a good dance song, decant into one luxurious up drinks glass or two smaller Thin Man Era glasses if you'd like to share.

1 comment:

Sean Rooney said...

if you're going to get precise, the song should be "Brimful of Asha" remixed by fatboy slim