Saturday, September 21, 2013

copper creel

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo LXXVII) was picked by Elana of the Stir and Strain blog. The theme she chose was "Smoke!" which is amusing that it came after August's theme of "Fire!" Elana elaborated on her theme by describing, "They say where there's smoke, there's fire – it isn't necessarily true if we’re down to the smoldering embers, but, well, they say it anyway. In our case, where there was fire, now there's smoke, and it's time to stoke your enthusiasm for the next challenge. Smoke has been everywhere this past year... For me, smoke is also a transitional element: it symbolizes the last summer bonfires, sitting around the fire pit making s'mores, and the start of the fragrant crackles from the fireplace announcing that fall is coming. For September's theme, I'd like to see how you interpret smoke. With your liquor or ingredients? Your glassware? Will you whip out a chemistry set to transform your cocktail into ghostly vapors? Do you own a home smoker, still in the box, that's never been used? Well then, you're welcome. Unpack those ideas and let's set off a couple smoke alarms this month for MxMo."

I did contemplate all the ways that people have been incorporating smoke into drinks. While I have had glasses pre-rinsed with smoke, it always comes off a bit acrid to my palate. I also thought of gaining access to the smoker at work, but the kitchen there is often way too busy for fun and games. Therefore, I opted for the easy, traditional way by reaching for the smokiest thing I have on my shelves, Laphroaig Scotch. And from there, I set off to find a Scotch-based recipe to put it to use. My library adventure led me to grab the North Star Cocktails book where I spotted the Copper Creel.
Copper Creel
• 1 1/2 oz Single Malt Scotch (Laphroaig 10 Year)
• 3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
• 1/2 oz Orange Liqueur (Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao)
• 1/2 oz Drambuie
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with a lemon spiral.
The Copper Creel was created by Jesse Held of Minneapolis and appeared like a Fancy version of a Rob Roy crossed with a Rusty Nail. Once mixed, it offered a smoky aroma that was brightened by the twist's lemon oil. A honey, malt, and grape sip led into a smoky Scotch swallow and an orange peel-tinged finish. Despite three of the ingredients in the mix being sugary, the Scotch's smoke definitely helped to cut through the perception of sweetness here.
So thank you to Elana of Stir and Strain for picking the theme and running this month's show, and thanks to the rest of the Mixology Monday participants for keeping the spirit of the event alive!

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