Tuesday, January 26, 2010


3/4 oz Rye (Sazerac 6 Year)
1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)
1/4 oz Dry Vermouth (Dolin)
1/4 oz Cherry Heering
1 dash Abbott's Bitters (Homemade)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Before heading out to the Surrealist Games Night hosted by Roger Miller (of Mission of Burma fame (*)) on Saturday, Andrea and I needed a drink to loosen up our minds to get into a free association zone. For inspiration, I found the Arrowhead in Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 to satisfy Andrea's craving for rye that might not have been satisfied by the Swedish Punsch-heavy Boomerang (and strangely also a projectile themed name). The Arrowhead features two very different cherry liqueurs -- the rich and spicy Cherry Heering and the nutty fruit Maraschino Liqueur -- and balances their sweetness with rye's intensity as well as some dry vermouth. To up the cherry quotient even further, I garnished the drink with a Luxardo Maraschino cherry.

The nose of the drink was filled with cherry from the liqueurs and clove spice from the Abbott's Bitters. Peychaud's or Fee's Aromatic might make for a good substitute if you have not made a batch of Abbott's for yourself, but neither will contain clove notes that pair up well with Cherry Heering. Indeed, both the cherry and clove notes carried over into the flavor and complemented the spicy Sazerac rye. The Arrowhead, despite containing two liqueurs, did not seem all that sweet. Andrea's palate detected the Maraschino first while mine picked up more on the Cherry Heering flavors. After a few sips, both were equally noticeable with the Maraschino appearing after the rye and before the Heering flavors.

(*) Andrea pointed out that a good choice would have been John Gertsen's surreally proportioned Mission of Burma cocktail that he created for the Grand Marnier event a few months ago.

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