Sunday, December 12, 2010


This month's Mixology Monday theme, "Like That? You’ll Love This!" (MxMo LIII), was picked by Chris Amirault of the eGullet forum. Chris' challenge was, "a well-made tweak of someone's favorite can be just the ticket through the gate to the sort of quality cocktails you want to serve guests at home or at work. Hence this MxMo, devoted to sharing gateway drinks that allow you to say, 'If you like that, you’ll love this!'"

I initially thought of taking this theme too far, and no matter what a person liked to drink, I would recommend a Sazerac. Or perhaps a Rum Sazerac if some one asked for a Captain and Coke. I guess that I have watched Bartender's Choice: Not Sweet too many times (and have seen it happen in real life) to know that that will not fly.

Instead, I took a simple classic like the Marconi Wireless and recommended something more complex -- Josey Packard's WiFi. However, if they are already drinking Marconi Wirelesses, they are already part way there. Indeed, the WiFi might also be a good stepping stone away from the Cosmopolitan as it stays within the fruity sphere without offering up too strong of a spirit choice, although everything might seem rather flavorful compared to vodka. As a selling point, this drink has apples and honey with a little spice, and with the Peychaud's Bitters, it comes across almost as pretty as a Cosmo and might even do the trick for a Sour Apple Martini person.

Josey invented her homage to the Marconi Wireless for the 2009 James Beard Awards. I had already written about Patricia Richards' drink, Sinatra Smash, that was served at that event. Josey's drink is as follows:
• 1 3/4 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
• 1 oz Lillet Blanc
• 1/4 oz Drambuie
• 1/8 oz Honey Syrup (1:1)
• 2 dash Peychaud's Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
We were running out of Laird's Bonded so we split the drink with an equal part of Calvados. The Calvados certainly added more apple and less barrel notes and made for a softer drink. To satisfy the vodka drinker, Laird's Applejack might be a decent substitution as well for it offers up a lot of grain neutral spirit dilution to the mix (their applejack is only 35% apple product). The only other substitution we made was using Cocchi Americano instead of Lillet Blanc.
The Peychaud's Bitters donated a beautiful color to the WiFi. A very apple nose led into an apple and Cocchi Americano citrus-peel flavored sip. The swallow had a decent but not overwhelming amount of complexity from the Drambuie and Peychaud's Bitters including a cinnamon note. While the drink was sweeter and spicier than a Marconi Wireless, it was not as rich as its sweet vermouth-laden cousin. Andrea made the comment that the Marconi Wireless would make for a better appetizer while the WiFi a better after-dinner drink. While the drink is no Applejack Sazerac, the Peychaud's Bitters at least brings the drink a slight step in that direction but with a sweeter and less difficult to drink format.

Thanks to Charles for picking this month's theme and to Paul Clarke for being the Grand Poobah each and every month!

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