Sunday, October 18, 2015

island of lost souls

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo CII) was picked by JFL of the RatedRCocktails blog. The theme he chose was "Spooky Sips," and he elaborated on the theme with his description of, "October means Halloween. Halloween means kitschy parties and my favorite classic horror movies on the television. Here on the blog we've done tributes to Karloff, Dracula, and of course Vincent Price just to name a few. Tiki is rich with adventurous drinks that call to the terrifying. The Sidewinder's Fang, the Shrunken Skull, the Shark's Tooth, and of course the venerable Zombie. However, I am sure there are creepy classics as well. Your challenge for my MxMo of Horrors is to create a terrifying tipple. It could be a drink that just screeches Halloween. Maybe it's a recipe to honor your favorite horror movie or star. It could be a spooky garnish or petrifying punch. Heck if you wanna make eyeball jello shots, who am I to tell you no. Let your creativity shine, I want to hear the blood curdling screams of your readers as they sip your creepy creations."
After having difficulty in searching for an interesting horror name in the literature of a drink that I have not made yet, I decided to go the creative route. Given JFL's penchant for Tiki drinks and their great naming conventions, I chose to stick with the genre. Moreover, after considering the success of converting classic Tiki recipes into sherry libations such as the Sherry Mai Tai, perhaps similar could be done with Madeira? Madeira is one of the three spirits that Loyal Nine, the restaurant I work at, cherishes along with rum and brandy to keep with the Colonial theme. Last night at work, I opted to take one of my ideas into action. What if the classic 1934 Zombie took a trip to the Portuguese island of Madeira? Sticking with the island theme, horror concept, and the general time frame of the Zombie, the 1932 movie Island of Lost Souls seemed most appropriate. In addition, the evil doctor in the movie tinkered with plants and animals before moving on with his transforming technology to "bio-anthropological research." Having Bela Lugosi in the cast did not hurt my decision either...
Island of Lost Souls
• 1 1/2 oz Malmsey Madeira (Blandy's 5 Year)
• 1 1/2 oz Sercial Madeira (Blandy's 5 Year)
• 1 oz Lemon Juice
• 1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
• 1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
• 1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
• 1 barspoon Grenadine
• 2 dash Absinthe (St. George)
• 2 dash Angostura Bitters
Shake with ice and strain into a Zombie glass. Top with crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig and freshly grated cinnamon and nutmeg. A grapefruit twist, lemon peel, and/or paper parasol wouldn't hurt either. Add a straw.
I split the Madeira with the sweetest and the driest (see my notes on Madeira), but perhaps a full 3 ounces of either of the intermediate two, namely Verdelho and Bual, could come close (perhaps the semi-sweet Rainwater Madeiras might work well too). I also thought about bolstering the ABV with a bit of brandy but I wanted this to not be over the top proof-wise. Once prepared, the Island of Lost Souls greeted the nose with cinnamon and nutmeg aromas with hints of mint and citrus oil as well. The citrus dominated the sip with lemon and grapefruit notes with a bit of the Madeira's grape peaking through. Finally, the swallow offered the Madeira with its solid acid backbone that finished with cinnamon and clove accents.

So thank you to JFL for picking the theme to challenge us to look at the spookier side of drinking; while I did not create a horror mocktail, a half-strength one will have to suffice... And thanks to the rest of the Mixology Monday participants for keeping the jiggers jigging and the undead spirit of the event alive!

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