July 3, 2024

Cocktail Talk: A Man’s Head, Part II

A Man's Head

Years and years ago I featured here on the Spiked Punch a quote we’ll call A Man’s Head Cocktail Part I, at least we will now, as today we are having A Man’s Head Part II! Both are from the George Simenon book of the same name, a book featuring his character par excellence, Inspector Maigret, the taciturn, sometimes slow-moving, relentless, irreplaceable Parisian policeman, and a book (you may have guessed this!), I recently re-read. It was as good this time as the first time, whisking you away in a bygone Paris through prose that is as unmistakable as our Inspector. This case circles around a man waiting to be hung for a double murder, but a double murder Maigret has come to believe the man didn’t commit – so he basically breaks him out of prison, and lets the chips fly. They come to fly around a bar for part of the time, the famous La Coupole, which is where the action, as it is, is taking place in the below. In that quote, a Rose cocktail is ordered, which if you don’t know (I had to double check), is a mix of London dry gin, Heering cheery liqueur, and dry vermouth, garnished with a cherry. My guess is there are about 137 Rose cocktails, but this is a classic number that you see referred to as “French style,” making me believe it’s the Rose below!

And William Kirby, pushing his way between two people, held out a hand across the mahogany bar.

“How are you, Bob?”

Mrs. Kirby went straight up to the yellow-haired Swedish girl, kissing her and talking volubly in English.

The newcomers had no need to order drinks. Bob promptly handed Kirst a whiskey and soda, and mixed a Rose for his young wife, asking:

“Back from Biarritz already?”

“Only stayed three days. It was raining worse than here.”

–George Simenon, A Man’s Head

April 6, 2018

What I’m Drinking: Hugs and Sand

This is based, as you can probably guess from the name, on the classic Scotch cocktail the Blood and Sand. To make it more huggy (not that the original isn’t huggy, mind you), I switched up said Scotch with local (for those of us living in Seattle, WA, that is, though really, hopefully, wherever you are you can track this down, too) Captive Spirits’ Peat Barreled Big Gin (PBBG). Rested or aged or finished as you will in casks that once held also-local Westland’s Peated American single malt whiskey, the PBBG has a swell juniper, orange, smoke, pepper, spice, and northwest-y nature that goes like a cuddly cuddle here. Try it, and then give me a hug if you like it (if you feel that’s too weird, a high-five is good, too). If making in summer, you may want to have it over the rocks instead of up. If it’s real hot, that is.

Hugs and Sand

Ice cubes
1-1/2 ounce Captive Spirits’ Peat Barreled Big Gin
1/2 ounce Punt e’ Mes Italian vermouth
1/2 ounce Cherry Heering
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with ice cubes. Add everything. Shake well.

2. Strain through a fine strainer into a cocktail glass.

December 29, 2017

What I’m Drinking: The Happy Youth

Let’s face it – we’re not getting any younger. Really, nothing is, I suppose. But wait, as the year rolls out into the sunset, and as a new one rolls in, let’s not get all down-in-the-mouth, and think about getting older. But instead, remember all the many wondrous days, and all the ones happening now, and how we can be youthful all year round, and many other things one might find on a card – hahaha! Or, skip all that, and sip a Happy Youth instead.

The Happy Youth, from Champagne Cocktails

Ice cubes
1 ounce Cherry Heering cherry brandy
1 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
Chilled extra-dry rosé sparkling wine

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the Cherry Heering, the orange juice, and the simple syrup. Shake youthfully.

2. Strain the mixture equally into a four flute glasses. Top each with the sparkling wine.

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