October 20th, 2007

Dexter & Stagg
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A "Virginia Autumn" and some new supplies!

As Sean mentioned yesterday, I have been working on my first brand new cocktail.  I wanted to create something that reminded me of one of my favorite times of the year, autumn in Virginia.  So it kind of named itself the "Virginia Autumn."  I checked a lot of cocktail databases, blogs, food websites and the Mixosphere and didn't find any drinks that used the ingredients I had in mind. 

I wanted to base the drink on apples.  Virginia has a lot of apples and growing up, we had a small apple orchard on our property that produced great apples, so apples it is.  For the main spirit, I decided to go with Laird's Applejack because, well, it is an apple brandy and it is a true American spirit.  Check out the link to learn more.  I also have my new bottle of St. Germain elderflower liqueur that I really wanted to incorporate.   I also wanted to add a background flavor/essence that would remind me of apple pies, fall baking/cooking and those great smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a warm fire.  Luckily I had some Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters that provide the perfect  oaky-cinnamon-baking spice that I was looking for.

Finally, after several trials and errors, with consultation and advice from

runoknows and a great mixologist and good all around guy Jamie Boudreau, here is the final recipe:
Virginia Autumn

1.5 oz Laird's Applejack
1.0 oz  Apple Cider
0.5 oz St. Germain
3/4 tsp Rich Simple Syrup*
1 dash of Fee Brothers' Orange Bitters
3-4 dashes of Fee Brothers'  Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters

Shake well with cracked ice until your hands feel like they've been blasted by a cold November wind and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a small apple slice on the rim of the glass or a paper thin round of apple floating on top.

*To make Rich Simple Syrup, heat equal parts of water and demerara sugar until dissolved.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Add about an ounce of high proof vodka for shelf-stability, bottle and keep in fridge.

The glass is a cocktail glass from a set my father purchased after he graduated from the University of Virginia in 1965.  The rim and seal of The University are in gold leaf.  This seemed a very fitting glass to my first foray into classic cocktails.



I got (from left to right) some tiki and palm tree cocktail stirrers, a bottle of Fee Brothers' Orange Flower water, a bottle of Fee Brothers Orgeat syrup, a bottle of Fee Brothers West Indian Orange Bitters, a bottle of Fee Brothers Falernum (which I have been dying to get!) and a bottle of Fee Brothers Peach Bitters.  Let the mixing begin!

Finally, because I love this picture so much, here you go:

This is my bottle of Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye Whiskey, a part of the 2006 Buffalo Trace Antique Selection.  It is unfiltered and bottled at barrel strength.  If you look closely, you can see the handwritten proof on the label . . . yes it does say 132.7 proof.  Yes, Homer, it makes me happy too . . . 

Dexter & Stagg
  • tmfiii

Happy Early Halloween!!!

Alright, so I know Halloween is a few weeks off ,11 days to be exact, but I love this holiday.  And yes, before people start bitching about it being pagan and not really a holiday, I consider it a holiday.  I've always loved this time of year and next to Christmas, Halloween is the best time.  And if you don't think it should be a holiday, calm down, quit being uber-PC and have a good stiff drink.  You need one.

Now, because I love Halloween so much, I've decided to have a pre-Halloween shin-dig at my place tonight for a few friends.  Nothing fancy, a few small Halloween decorations, some candles, a horror movie playing in the background for ambiance and good conversation.  Of course, I plan on serving beer, wine and cocktails.  What cocktails to serve on this most unholy of gatherings?  (insert evil laugh here)

So far, these are drinks I plan on serving.  I'll post recipes and impressions later in the week.

Virginia Autumn
Satan's Whiskers
Death in the Afternoon
Asylum Cocktail
red or black or orange martinis

Should be a frightfully good time.