It’s Mixology Monday time again. We sat out last month’s theme of temperance. As our tagline says, it’s all about our ridiculous love of booze. No booze, no love. 🙂 This month we return with Aw Nuts! courtesy of Elana over at Stir and Strain. This one spoke to us more as there are lots of nutty things that we enjoy in our cocktails. Read on for what we came up with.
Christa decided to make a pistachio-based orgeat and see how that came out. Since she had only salted pistachios at home, she used those, and it produced an appealing, nutty, sweet-salty result. Now, what to do with it? After a little consideration, it occurred to us that the creamy orgeat could be used as a substitute for dairy in some classic recipes. The Brandy Alexander came to mind. We tried a straight substitution first, using unsweetened chocolate vodka, cognac, and pistachio orgeat. It was tasty, but still needed a little sweetening. We thought a touch of vanilla would play to the chocolate and pistachio flavors, so we added a splash of Licor 43. It tasted great but still needed some depth. A dash of Abbot’s added some anise and herbal notes, and a dash of Angostura added a bit of spice. That did what we were hoping, and gave us a nice, creamy, dessert-y but not too sweet after-dinner cocktail.
- 1 oz cognac
- 1 oz chocolate vodka (we used the Mud Puddle)
- 1 oz pistachio orgeat*
- 1/4 oz Licor 43 or vanilla liqueur
- 1 dash Angostura
- 1 dash Abbott’s bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a glass. Enjoy.
- Nose: Cognac, chocolate, anise, coffee, creamy pistachio
- Palate: Vanilla, caramel, barrel wood , sweet-salty pistachio on the front. Vanilla still going into the mid-palate, then chocolate, anise and cloves. Spice on the finish with unsweetened cocoa and more pistachio. Very creamy mouth feel. Some coffee notes on the finish as it warms up.
* Pistachio Orgeat
- 1 1/2 lb shelled salted pistachios
- 2 c sugar
- 2 c water
Whomp up in a food processor. Let sit over night. Strain.
For our second drink, Shaun wanted to come up with something that evoked the cocktail nut (sweet, salty and spicy) mixes that he remembers from growing up in the 70’s. We started with toasted walnuts, muddled them with simple syrup, then added salt and some cayenne. We then tasted that in combination with various aged spirits. After tying a number of variations, we settled on a sweeter aged rum along with a splash of maple wood aged Canadian whiskey. The rum gave the drink some rich sweetness, and the whiskey added some earthy complexity that we really liked. These things combined made us think of the cocktail parties of the 70’s (not that we were drinking in those days :)), so it seemed appropriate to name it:
- 2 oz gold rum
- 1/2 oz Collingwood Canadian whiskey
- 1/4 oz black walnut liqueur
- 10 toasted walnuts
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- large pinch salt
- cayenne pepper to taste
Muddle walnuts with simple syrup. Add other ingredients. Shake with ice, double strain into a glass. Enjoy.
- Nose: Walnut, black walnut, wood smoke, dark earthy notes. Hint of cayenne.
- Palate: Big hit of creamy sweet/salty walnut at the front. Earthy maple and wood smoke on the mid-palate. Black walnut and nice hit of cayenne on the finish. Delicious toasty walnut flavor throughout.
We really enjoyed this MxMo theme, since we’re big fans of nut-based ingredients for cocktails, and this gave us the opportunity to try some different things. Thanks to Elana for hosting this month! We look forward to next month’s theme.