Thursday, August 11, 2011

august cup

1/2 inch slice Cucumber (peel and all)
1 oz Brandy (Pedro Domecq Fundador Solera Reserva)
1 oz Madeira (Blandy's 5 Year Verdelho)
1 bsp Maraschino (1/8 oz Luxardo)
1 bsp Curaçao (1/8 oz Senior's Curaçao of Curaçao)

Muddle the cucumber. Add rest of ingredients and ice, shake, and double strain into a highball filled with ice. Top with 2 oz of wheat beer (Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Weizenbock). A pale ale would make a decent substitution here.

Last week for Mixoloseum's Thursday Drink Night, the theme was "sparkling." With my garden providing cucumber, mint, borage, and other ingredients often used in 19th century Cups, I was drawn to creating my own recipe in this vein. The classic Cup style not only makes good use of these garden botanicals but provides a lot of refreshment for hot summer nights. Originally, I was going to make a drink using soda water; however, the water bottles for the Soda Stream were still warm and un-carbonated, so I opted to shape the drink around beer as my chosen sparkler for the theme. Given my interest in beer cocktails, people in the Mixoloseum chatroom were not surprised when I went the malt and hops route.
For a name, I called it the August Cup partly to reflect the seasonality of the cucumber. The other part was to reflect some of the names of mid-1800's drinks such as the Grace and Loving Cups by using the virtue of being august. Once mixed, the August Cup presented a malt and fresh cucumber aroma. The beer's malt and carbonation shone through on the sip, and its hops provided spice on the swallow. The swallow also contained a robust cucumber flavor along with hints of the Maraschino and Madeira.

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