And just when you turn around, it's another Mixology Monday. This time around our host is Anna over at Morsels & Musings. Thanks Anna!
For this months MxMo, Anna has selected "Fruit Liqueurs" which is kind of funny since Sean and I just finished an orange liqueur tasting not long ago and so I had to think of something different flavor-wise to use. Unfortunately my homemade tangerine ratafia is still aging and it won't be ready until June 1st. But it is spring and the weather is beginning to turn sunny and warm again (at least here in Northern Virginia) that a fruit liqueur theme should not be to difficult.
Well, those are famous last words. I began by looking through the bar at what I had - various orange liqueurs already mentioned, creme de mure (blackberry), limoncello, creme de casis, frambois, creme de peche, cherry heering, calvados, applejack, maraschino and apricot eau-de-vie all begging to be used. But thoughts turned to one of my favorite fruits - the humble delicious peach. My first thought was to work on a riff of peach tea. I have some newly made swedish punsch with it's lemony, rum and black tea flavors that would play very well with the creme de peche. Unfortunately, I couldn't quite come up with a drink that made me completely satisfied. I'm sure there is a drink in there somewhere, and I aim to find it, but that shall be a project for another day.
The next day, I was pouring over some books, trying to find some recipes that I can tinker with when I decided that I needed something nice to sip on. It was this past Friday night and it was a very warm day but around 10pm a quick and strong thunderstorm came through. At that point I decided a Dark & Stormy would be the perfect fit for the evening. The sweet dark Goslings and the biting fizzy ginger beer certainly hit the spot. Then a light went off in my head. I was holding the basis for my MxMo drink at that very moment.
I quickly ran to the bar and begin playing. The following drink was the results:
A Georgia Thunderstorm
2 oz Goslings Black Seal
1 oz Messenez Creme de Peche
.25 oz St. Elizabeth's Allspice (Pimento) Dram
2 dashes Angostura bitters
4 oz Ginger Beer (I used Regatta and then Bundaberg - both with excellent results)
Build everything in a chimney glass filled with lots of ice.
Garnish with mint sprigs and a straw.
Sip slowly until the dark sky passes.
The drink is spicy, peachy and fairly sweet. It may even be too sweet for some folks, but if you've ever had really good authentic southern sweet tea, you'll get this drink. It is meant to be sipped slowly letting the fragrance of the mint hit you before the ice cold liquid caresses your lips like the fuzz of a ripe peach. On a hot summer evening when the clouds break and the rain showers everything around you, this will be a fantastic beverage.
Of course, this wouldn't be the Scofflaw's Den if I didn't give you at least one more recipe. The following recipe is an original creation that I submitted to a local cocktail competition. I won't know how I did until the end of the month, but I thought I would share it with y'all anyway. I really enjoy this drink and certain ingredients are adaptable to whatever you may have in your home bar (or for a bar that may not have certain name brand spirits for that matter . . . it pays to know your audience I guess!) And unfortunately there are no pictures of this drink. When I created it, I wasn't thinking of putting it in this post and when I did decide to do so, I didn't have the main ingredient. Oh Well. Without further adeu . . .
De Lente Smash
4 medium ripe strawberries
5-6 medium basil leaves (or 3-4 very large leaves)
2 oz Genever style gin (Boomsma, Zuidam Holland or Damrak) OR 1.5 oz London Dry Gin (Plymouth)
.75 oz Rich Simple Syrup
2 dashes Peach Bitters
In a mixing glass, muddle the strawberries, basil leaves and simple syrup.
Add gin and bitters and pour all into an iced shaking tin.
Shake until the tin frosts.
Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. (I used the hawthorne strainer in the tin and a fine mesh strainer over the glass.)
Take one small basil leaf and smack it with your hand. Float the bruised leaf on top of the drink and garnish with a sliced strawberry.
Well, there you go. Thanks again to Anna and I hope everyone has a great MxMo.