Sunday, December 14, 2014

widow's laurel

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo XCII) was picked by me, Frederic of the CocktailVirgin blog. The theme I chose was "Apples," and I elaborated in my announcement post with, "Apples have been an American booze staple with Johnny Appleseed as its symbolic hero. John Chapman became that legend by planting apple tree nurseries across the northern Appalachia and the Midwest. He did not choose grafting techniques to reproduce sweet edible ones, but bred them to make sour apples perfect for cider and applejack. Michael Pollan in The Botany of Desire proclaimed, "Really, what Johnny Appleseed was doing and the reason he was welcome in every cabin in Ohio and Indiana was he was bringing the gift of alcohol to the frontier. He was our American Dionysus." Apple products began to enter into the mixed drink literature in the 19th century with the Stone Fence appearing in Jerry Thomas' Bartender Guide and got quite refined by the end of the century such as the Widow's Kiss in George Kappeler's Modern American Drinks. Indeed, apples have found their way into modern cocktails via Calvados, applejack, sparkling and still cider, apple butter, and muddled apple."
At first I was going to do one of the drinks on our menu at work, the Emily Rose -- a cross between a Jack Rose and a French 75, but instead I turned to the Death & Co. Cocktail Book so that I could taste something new. In the brandy section, I spotted a riff on the Widow's Kiss, a classic from 1895 that I mentioned above in my announcement. Joaquín Simó's 2009 variation, the Widow's Laurel, was a spicier and slightly less boozy riff on this classic.
Widow's Laurel
• 2 oz Busnel VSOP Calvados (Boulard VSOP)
• 1/2 oz Drambuie
• 1/2 oz Carpano Sweet Vermouth (Dolin)
• 1 tsp St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
• 1 dash Angostura Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with 3 brandied cherries on a pick (omitted).
Once stirred and strained, the Widow's Laurel shared an apple and allspice aroma. Next, the sip was rather fruity from the apple brandy and the vermouth's grape, and the swallow presented a medley of honey, apple, allspice, and clove elements. The combination overall was perfect for the autumn-winter transition with fall fruit flavors mixing with Christmas spices.

Here at the end of Mixology Monday posts, I usually thank the host for picking the theme and running this month's show, but that would be a bit odd thanking myself. Instead, I am thanking the hosts that have stepped up since the last time I hosted Mixology Monday, namely July 2013's MxMo LXXV "Flip Flop," as well as all the other past and future hosts. Moreover, thank you to the rest of the Mixology Monday participants for keeping the shakers shaking and the spirit of the event alive!

No comments: