Warmth In The Cold
By Gregory Jacobs-Roseman (Composer-Lyricist)
Last week I wrote an essay about why I hate post-holiday winter and how every year I get a little depressed come January. Well, if there’s one cure for the winter blues out there that I’ve found works every time, it’s definitely alcohol. It’s been an extremely long time since I’ve done a mixology post on Crazytown and this is probably the best time for one, given that we’re gonna be in the dead of winter until March and I feel my seasonal affective disorder kicking in.
I’m a trained sommelier (fancy French word for “wine expert”) but I love to dabble in mixology. About a year ago I decided to start mixing my way through some of my cocktail recipe books as a way to practice drink mixing. I have a number of mixology books, my favorite being The PDT Cocktail Book by Jim Meehan. Seriously, I bought that book in hard copy and in iBooks so I’d always have it with me on my iPhone (also, in iBooks it’s searchable by word). Seriously, if you have any interest in mixology that book needs to be on your shelf. Get it on Amazon now.
To practice, I’d go through a book, find a cocktail I happened to have all the ingredients for (I keep my bar extremely well-stocked so not having an ingredient usually isn’t an issue) but hadn’t made before, and make it, always sure to Instagram the finished product (because if a tree falls in the woods, right?).
Here are a couple of recipes for drinks I think are prefect for the dark days of winter. Seriously, I made some of these cocktails during actual blizzards. If you find these interesting and fun to make, I highly suggest you get a copy of a cocktail book and try your hand at mixing on your own. (Click on images to enlarge.)
2 oz. Cognac
.75 oz. Ruby Port
.5 oz. Grand Marnier
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg.
Every ingredient in this says “winter cocktail.” Also, be sure to grate whole nutmeg on a microplane grater. Don’t use the pre-grated stuff if you can avoid it.
1.5 oz. Cognac
1.5 oz. Ruby Port
.25 oz. simple syrup
1 whole egg
Add all ingredients to a shaker and dry shake, add ice and shake again. Strain into an egg coupe. Garnish with grated nutmeg.
No actual coffee in this Jerry Thomas classic. Same as before with the nutmeg.
2 oz. Gin
1.5 oz. Sweet Vermouth
.25 oz. Fernet Branca
Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
Many people don’t associate gin with winter, which I’ve never understood as it tastes like Christmas.
1.5 oz. Aged Jamaican Rum
1.5 oz. Gold Puerto Rican Rum
1 oz. 151-proof Lemon Heart Rum
.75 oz. Lime Juice
.5 oz. Falernum
.5 oz. Trader Tiki’s Don’s Mix
1 barspoon Grenadine
1/8 teaspoon Absinthe
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Shake with ice and strain into a tiki mug filled with crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprig.
These babies were limit two per customer at the Chinese restaurant I used to underage drink at while in college in Boston – though I doubt they used this classic recipe. Sometimes in the middle of winter you need a little Polynesian flavor to forget the cold.
And finally, what winter cocktail list would be complete without the Manhattan? The one pictured is very Woodford Reserve on-brand.
2 oz. Rye or Bourbon Whiskey
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters.
Stir with ice and strain into a coupe. Garnish with three cherries on a pick.
GREGORY JACOBS-ROSEMAN is a composer/lyricist and theatrical sound designer. His musical Save The Date: A Wedding Road-Trip Musical won the Overall Excellence Award for a Musical in the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival. gregjr.com
EMAIL HIM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | OTHER POSTS BY THIS AUTHOR