It’s Mixology Monday again. This month’s theme, Brace Yourself, comes from Doc Elliot over at his eponymous mixology blog. The good doctor (he’s a real doctor, and clearly a kindred spirit) has this to say about the theme:
Winter usually evokes scenes of roaring fires with glasses or mugs filled with warming liquid fortifying us against the cold and damp. Winter provides the shared universal experience that spans language, geography and the centuries – that moment just before you step out into the cold; to walk to the bus stop, hit the ski slope, shovel the snow or feed the livestock. So what adult beverages can best prepare the body and steel the will for that moment when we go forth into Winter?
With that in mind, we set out to make a drink we thought would help us brace ourselves against the winter (though ironically, it’s a gorgeous day today in Seattle :)).
At first, we thought about doing a warm drink, but then felt like we’d done warm cocktails for a couple of posts in the last few months, and should try something new. So what else could we do that seemed appropriate for cold weather? After thinking for a bit, we realized we hadn’t done anything with beer in a bit, and Christa had a couple bottles of oatmeal stout in the fridge – dark, rich, but still fairly dry and not heavy, it seemed like a great place to start for a winter cocktail. Immediately we thought of an aged spirit as a pairing, and after tasting through a few whiskies and rums, came to the conclusion that a sweeter, less woody whiskey would be a great match (though we didn’t try it, since we’re momentarily out of El Dorado (!), we’d guess a demerara rum would work well too). With the base spirit decided, we added a bit of amaro for interest, whose bittersweet herbal flavors played off the toasty bitter flavors in the stout. Finally, we sweetened the whole thing up with just a touch of maple syrup to balance the bitterness, since it both complemented the stout and called out to the maple flavors in the rye we chose.
- 1 1/2 oz rye (we used the Angel’s Envy though any slightly sweeter rye should work)
- 3/4 oz Amaro Lucano (Averna, Nardini, Ramazotti would all probably work)
- 1 1/2 bar spoons maple syrup
- 3 oz oatmeal stout, drier style preferred (we used the Fremont Dark Star)
Shake first 3 ingredients with ice. Strain into a glass. Add stout. Gently stir. Cheers!
- Nose: Oatmeal, malt, dried figs, maple, spice, little bit of black licorice, hint of rye bread.
- Palate: Toasted grain, maple and espresso right off the bat. Mid-palate is oatmeal, dried fruit and licorice. Finish dries out and moves to rye bread and rye spice. Malty, maple-y aftertaste. Gets slightly sweeter and adds dark chocolate notes as it warms up. Very light, smooth texture, not viscous at all.
There you have it, a very yummy cocktail with a backbone of stout and some rye and amaro to really make it stand up and say hello. Shaun usually doesn’t like beer cocktails, (or, you know, beer) but found this one quite tasty.
Thanks to Doc Elliot for hosting this month, and to our inestimable banner carrier Fred for keeping the party going. For everyone on the East coast, we hope you’re staying warm and safe and enjoying a bracing cocktail of whatever stripe you prefer. Until next time, cheers!