Okay, there has to be a drink named this, right? It’s just too good not to have been utilized by some creative bartender (of which there are millions, lucky us), and so whomever has done so, my apologies. And if really there isn’t, than, wheee! Anyway, as you might expect from this name I’ve been mulling over, this is a rye drink, and one that hews close-ish to a rye Manhattan, which I think is a good place to start.
Another good place to start is the rye I’m using here, Clyde May’s rye. Clyde May’s is made by the Conecuh Distillery and is named after Alabama’s most famous bootlegger/moonshiner from days of yore (meaning, days when we had moonshiners, and not liquor stores one could trot into, or fire up online). I had their bourbon in a Mint Julep not too long ago, and you can go read about it. But now, it’s rye time, cause, as the drink name tells us, Rye Not?
The Clyde May’s rye is aged a minimum of three years and rolls off the tongue at 47% ABV. On the nose, it delivers some spice, caramel, and flowery notes, which unfold when sipping into a little stone fruit (apricots, I say!), and more spice and rye goodness, and a hint of pepper and sweetness trailing. A nice sipper, but also nice in cocktails like this one, where I – after due consideration – follow up on those apricot notes I parsed out above, by mixing it with a little (don’t want to overwhelm) apricot liqueur, as well as a little peach bitters, and to bring us all home, some Punt e’ Mes vermouth. All together, a swell drink for right about now, where there’s chill still in the air, but perhaps a dream of spring coming closer every day.
Here’s a haunting favorite I hadn’t made recently – which was foolish of me, because it’s a Halloween hit that’s good year round. But, especially due to the headless nature of the eerie moniker, it’s a chillingly good choice this time of year. Luckily, it’s not scary to make, and the taste isn’t scary at all, and your spooky party pals will love it. Heck, they might even say it’s boo-tiful. Hahaha!
It’s hard being the conquered. Stinks, even. Whether you’re Gaius Flaminius at the battle of Lago Trasimeno, or at the less-happy end after a re-org in a big company, or destroyed by a hated rival during the NFL playoffs on national TV, being in that position doesn’t tend to lead to happy days. However! The nights at least can be better when you drink the below, instead of feeling the literal whips. Maybe not much better, but a little better.
Halloween, friends and neighbors (especially those neighbors who currently—it’s October as I write—have tombstones or spiders in the yard, all kinds of pumpkins around, maybe a skeleton or two, and more spooky stuff), is almost here. Which means I’m un-burying my favorite eerie fall cocktail, the Sleepy Hollow. I’ve written about it before hither and yon, but always like to bring it up this time of year, cause it’s delicious and matches the holiday so well. Just don’t lose your head over it!
They said it couldn’t be done! They said that dark rum, Fernet-Branca, apricot liqueur, and lime couldn’t be mixed together! They said that Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz couldn’t contain a drink that contains said ingredients, and they said it couldn’t be delicious, herbal, and tangy all at once! They said that a drink named after a whip and a world-beater (or, conqueror) couldn’t be made, that the good people of this here earth I stand on wouldn’t sip it up like the nectar of the gods! They said that it wouldn’t be an ideal mixture for Fall’s cold days, and that it wouldn’t slide the chill right off like a loose negligee! They said, they said, they said. Who is they (you might say)? Well, I’m not 100% sure. But they’re bad people. Unlike you and I. Both of whom (I sure hope) love this drink.
1 -1/2 ounces dark rum
1 ounce Fernet-Branca
1/2 ounce apricot liqueur
1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
Lime twist, for garnish
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rum, Fernet-Branca, apricot liqueur, and lime juice. Shake in a whip-cracking motion.
2. Strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with the lime whip. Oh, I mean twist.
The Man Behind the Evening's PlansA.J. Rathbun is a freelance food and entertainment writer, poet and author, a frequent guest on the Everyday Food program (Martha Stewart Living/Sirius satellite radio), and is a contributor to culinary & entertainment magazines such as Every Day with Rachael Ray, The Food Network Magazine, Real Simple, Wine Enthusiast, and many others. Of course, there's so much more to it than that...Read More