Thursday, January 5, 2012

the wilhelm scream

1 1/2 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
1/2 oz La Favorite Amber Rhum Agricole
1/2 oz Caol Ila 10 Year Scotch
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1 squeeze Lemon Peel

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube. Twist another piece of lemon peel over the top and discard.

Wednesday last week, Andrea and I stopped by Craigie on Main for cocktails. When I asked bartender John Mayer what drinks he had been working on, he asked if I liked smoky and explained that this was not his standard as he prefers to be more subdued with the smoke notes. While Del Maguey Mezcal Vida is not one of John's favorite mezcals, he needed it to match the name of the drink, the Wilhelm Scream. The Wilhelm Scream is a stock film and television sound effect that was first used in 1951 when a character was bitten by an alligator and gained its name in a 1953 movie after a Private Wilhelm who gets shot in the leg with an arrow. Relating to John's interest in Westerns and gun fights, the scream was often used when someone is high up on a roof, gets shot, and screams as he falls. Indeed, the scream is frequently used when someone is shot, falls off a horse or from a great height, or is toss in an explosion. Moreover, it has appeared in every Star Wars and Indiana Jones movie, and there are compilations on Youtube of many of them in rapid succession. With the ingredients list and the name, there was no way I could turn down this drink.
The Wilhelm Scream greeted my nose with a bright lemon and smoke aroma; Andrea commented that drink reminded her of smoke and leather. The sip contained malt and light herbal notes, and the beginning of the swallow presented the smoky mezcal and Scotch flavors. Next, the mezcal's agave and the rhum agricole's funky grass notes mingled and were chased by lingering smoke and botanical notes on the finish. As the ice melted, the rum became more prominent and the drink became more grassy on the swallow.

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