February 19, 2019
Well, when I posted an earlier Leave Her to Hell Cocktail Talk, I should have mentioned (or at least alluded to) that there might be more, but I wasn’t sure. However, in hindsight, why would I only want one, when there are multiple swell drinking scene in this book (which, as you learned when you read the earlier post, which you did read, right? but whichin you learned I’m reading via a you-should-own-it collection of three Fletcher Flora novels, said collection put out by Stark House). Heck, I’m guessing now that I’ll have even more from Kansas-born Mr. Fletcher (sadly gone from us a few years now), so you have that to look forward to (and if you need even more, see past Fletcher Flora Cocktail Talks, too). However, with that said, and with my admiration for said writer, I can’t completely agree with his final assertion in the below quote, which has three classic drinks in it. Three! Though, with novelists, you never know that the protagonist’s point of view is the authors, so really, maybe Mr. Flora loves an Alexander, and is having one right now at whatever afterworld bar he’s hanging at. Here’s hoping!
I looked right. A cocktail lounge was over that way, beyond a wide entrance and down a step. A number of people were drinking cocktails. There was no music. I recognized a Martini, which was all right, a Manhattan, which was better, and an Alexander, which you can have. Everything was very elegant, very sedate. Maybe someone saw me, maybe not.
–Fletcher Flora, Leave Her to Hell
May 26, 2017
As all know, I am fond of many local WA-state distillers, and one of my very favorites (you probably know this too, having been reading this blog for years and years, correct?) is a distillery on a farm – farm and distillery all the same fine folks – in a valley outside of Kent, WA, a distillery called Sidetrack. Not only do they deliver fine products using produce grown on their farm, but they also have a beautiful event space in a refurbished old barn. Super swell stuff. While they get a lot of deserved plaudits for their liqueurs (from fruit to walnut-based Nocino to more exotic fare like my favorite Lemon Verbena), they also make clear, European-style, fruit brandies. Delicious, strong, and hopefully liquids more Americans will start sipping. I think my favorite Sidetrack brandy – though I like them all – is Strawberry. It’s like the essence of strawberry, the Platonic ideal, while being robust and umph-y. It is a spirit, after all. I like it so much that I wanted to create a drink with it, but it was tough (as it can be with many fruit brandies) at first, due to user error. Hahaha. But I kept at it, and eventually went with a favorite dessert inspiration, the king of dessert drinks, the Alexander. Then, after a bunch of tweaks, the below emerged, and is lush, layered, and if I can say while being humble, pretty darn wonderful. Good after dinner both because of its hints of dessert and because of its strong backbone.
1-1/2 ounces Sidetrack Strawberry brandy
1 ounce Depth crème de cacao
1 ounce heavy cream
1/2 ounce maple syrup
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add everything. Shake really well. Really well!
2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Dream of orchards.
A Note: An actual strawberry would make a fine garnish here, but sadly I was strawberry deficient.
August 8, 2012
If you read this blog much in the last six months (and if you haven’t, where you been pal?), you know I recently taught a cocktail class called Locatails at the swellest spot, the Pantry at Delancey. It was on two nights, a Friday and a Saturday, and all my students were the tops, and the cocktails we made were delicious I believe (all using local spirits, by the way), and fun was had hopefully by each and every person in the room. It was definitely had by me. Actually, I was having so much fun that I nearly forgot (as I tend to in classes—they’re too much fun) to snap any snaps of the drinks. Eh gads. Luckily, two of my students, Sarah and Emily, took some photos, and sent me an awesome one of the Alexander:
If you don’t know, the Alexander is the emperor of sweet drinks, the top dessert drink perhaps ever, and one that too many people have forgotten about. Its gin-chocolate-cream combination isn’t going to be atop too many health food fanatics’ top ten lists, but anyone who loves a smooth, rich, lovely-tasting cocktail will sure adore it. But don’t take my word for it, try the below recipe (which is from Good Spirits), and if you don’t fall in love with the drink, well, I’ll drink it for you.
Ice cubes 1 ounce gin (I suggest Voyager gin, or another juniper-forward brand)
1 ounce crème de cacao
1 ounce heavy cream
1 strawberry slice, for garnish
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the gin, crème de cacao, and cream. Shake well.
2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the strawberry slice.