Sunday, September 11, 2022

death on the installment plan

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Bonded Rye
1/2 oz Mezcal (Fidencio)
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Cynar

Stir with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass pre-rinsed with apricot liqueur (Rothman & Winter).

Two Sundays ago, I had been thinking about the Benedictine-Cynar combination that I last tried out in the Lower Mills and wanted to expand on that. I opted for a 3:1 split base of Rittenhouse Rye to mezcal that I learned from several Death & Co. recipes including the Hunt & Peck and last tinkered with in the Campo Viejo. As a final touch, I added in the apricot rinse "bell-ringer" that was the signature move of James Maloney, for I have been making a few drinks from his 1900 The Twentieth-Century Cocktail Guide for Mixing Fancy Drinks at work including the Martinez Bell-Ringer. The combination of Cynar and apricot has been a delight in drinks like the One One Thousand as well as my Library Card, so that was on my mind. The Benedictine and apricot one was less on my mind despite it working well first in the Silk Road Sour that led to my Peruvian Necktie and other creations.
For a name, I dubbed this the Death on the Installment Plan after Louis-Ferdinand Celine's 1936 book. I had bought the book in the late 1990s but never read it for I got stuck reading his earlier Journey to the End of the Night and had to put it down to avoid the effects which that level of nihilism had on me as I was trying to wrap up my graduate studies for my doctorate. I had abandoned books before due to losing interest or a decrease in free time, but never have I been defeated by an author in such a way. The drink, however, was quite the opposite for it welcomed the senses with an apricot and smoke aroma with darker notes lurking beneath. Next, caramel and orchard fruit on the sip flowed into rye, smoke, vegetal, and herbal flavors on the swallow with an apricot finish.

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