Sunday, November 15, 2015

viking fog cutter

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo CIII) was picked by Shaun and Christa of the BoozeNerds blog. The theme they chose was "Standoffish," and they elaborated on the choice with their description of, "Now that we're into the cold weather, it's a good time to be bringing out the richer, stronger ingredients for use in cocktails. How to use them in good proportion though, where they speak up but don't overwhelm? Well, one way is to include them in smaller amounts, perhaps slightly offset from the other ingredients in one way or another. They can introduce themselves at the start or the end of the drink, or shepherd the other components into a cohesive whole, depending on how they are used. Which brings us to this month's theme: standoffish! We're looking for cocktails that use at least one non-garnish ingredient that is not stirred or shaken with the others. Rinses, floats, foams? Sure! Mists? Why not? We welcome whatever your creative geniuses can come up with."
Given my Tiki momentum which will go as long as my mint patch survives the colder weather, I considered one of the more elegant uses of floats in the genre being the sherry float in the Fog Cutter. Actually, that link is to the one Ted Kilpatrick made for me at No. 9 Park where the float was equal parts sherry and madeira. But are those wines really something that fit this theme of intense flavors? Sherry floats can deliver sweet, dry (see the Fino Swizzle), or nutty flavors and aromas, but they are relatively mild in the realm of cocktail ingredients. One of the Fog Cutter variations that Beachbum Berry provides in Remixed does not use the classic sherry float but one of aquavit. While Linie brand can be relatively mild due to the aging and the botanicals, my Aalborg at home is rather intense. Therefore, I opted for the Viking Fog Cutter crafted at the Norselander Restaurant in Seattle around 1955.
Viking Fog Cutter
• 2 oz Lemon Juice (1 oz)
• 1 oz Orange Juice (2 oz Cara Cara)
• 1/2 oz Orgeat
• 1/2 oz Brandy (Pedro Domecq Fundador Solera Reserva)
• 1/2 oz Gin (Seagram's Extra Dry)
• 1 oz Light Puerto Rican Rum (Don Q Cristal)
Shake with ice (crushed) and pour into a tall glass. Float 1/2 oz of aquavit (Aalborg).
The recipe seemed a bit tart so I reversed the volumes of lemon and orange juice to make something a bit more fitting to my palate. The aquavit float definitely donated a robust caraway component to the mint and citrus aroma. Using a straw, the citrus aspect of lemon and orange flavors filled the sip, and the swallow was nutty and juniper driven; at the end, the caraway and other botanicals mixed with those of the gin and began to overtake them. Indeed, the float here on the nose provided extra herbal notes that help bring out the gin botanicals in the flavor. Moreover, the white cap on top aided in making the drink a bit more visually intriguing.

Thanks to Shaun and Christa for hosting Mixology Monday once again and making an abstract term like "standoffish" into a great exercise in drink building dynamics, flavor, and aroma. And thanks to the rest of the MxMo participants for floating, rinsing, sinking, foaming, and misting their way into keeping this event going. Cheers!

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