May 8, 2015
Recently, as I do, I decided I wanted a new cocktail – and often for me that actually means an old cocktail, an unburied treasure in a glass that I haven’t yet had. This time, the first older book at hand was Patrick Gavin Duffy’s Official Mixer’s Manual (1940 edition), and as I browsed through this worthy tome of libations, I came across The Lord Suffolk. With a name so regal, I figured the drink must be regally awesome (oh, an aside – I haven’t yet had time to browse the library and see where this drink first came from. Sue me). And I figured right!
However, it’s a drink with a sizable wallop of gin, which then mingles with much smaller amounts of maraschino, sweet vermouth, and Cointreau. Because of that, I knew it needed a gin with a fair amount of personality, one that brings layers of flavor to the table. I went with the newish (to me, at least), and award-winning Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin, and darn if it wasn’t perfect, thanks to the smooth juniper flavor, sure, but even more the accompanying notes: citrus, spice, pepper, and an intriguing stitch of botanical and berries. It’s tasty stuff, and named after a monkey. That says it all.
And here in this cocktail, with just enough nutty maraschino, sweet and orange-y Cointreau, herbal vermouth, and lovely lemon oil coming along for the ride, the gin is allowed to blossom and not get lost. This is a helluva drink folks. And hopefully, somewhere, Mr. Duffy is smiling that it’s in a small way back in circulation.
The Lord Suffolk
2-1/2 ounces Monkey 47 Schwarzwald gin
1/2 ounce Luxardo maraschino
1/2 ounce Cocchi Torino sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce Cointreau
Lemon twist, for garnish
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with cracked ice. Add everything but the twist. Stir well.
2. Strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with the twist. Give a toast to the past, and then the future.
April 3, 2015
You might think if I told you that I made up this cocktail with a cherry-ish liqueur and also Merry Cherry Bee Knee’s (whatever that might be) that it’d be sweet in all the wrong ways, and make your teeth hurt. Well, pals, you’d be wrong! But don’t take it too bad, cause really, you probably didn’t know that the cherry liqueur in question was Boomerang, the new release from Washington’s broVo Spirits, which was created in conjunction with Micah Melton, beverage director at Chicago’s Aviary, and which isn’t just cherry, but cherry mingled with apricot, walnut, cinnamon, orange, vanilla, and peppercorn. So, savory, and not too sweet at all.
But that’s really just the half of it! The Merry Cherry Bee’s Knees is also the kicker, and really what gives this drink the umph that I (and I’ll bet you) love so well. Bee’s Knees, in this situation, means a spirit distilled from mead, the honey-fermented-and-fruit-beverage that probably makes you think of Vikings, or Renaissance Fairs. However, jump back from that thought. These Bee’s Knees are made by the Hardware Distillery, also in WA, and while they take characteristics from the mead and fruit (beyond Merry Cherry, there are Peachy Keen, Fig, Raspberry, and Plum varieties), they’re still a spirit, and aged in oak, and have the heft and personality of a whiskey.
So, what’s that all mean? Come to WA (or, if you’re here, stay here), get these ingredients, and try this drink. Then you’ll see what it means. And be happier for it. Also, if you can tell me where the name comes from, I’ll buy you three drinks.
Like to a Double Cherry
2 ounces Merry Cherry Bee’s Knees
1 ounce Boomerang liqueur
1/2 ounce Cocchi Torino sweet vermouth
Rainer cherry, for garnish
1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add everything except the real cherry. Stir well.
2. Add the cherry to a cocktail glass. Strain the mix into the glass and over the cherry.