Today is Mixology Monday, and this week we have a pretty difficult topic. Unfortunately, I had to do a wine cocktail, which made it even more difficult. If this were two hundred years ago, this would be easy peasy. Medford rum was the best in the world, and I live in the town next door. And, beyond rum, there was ahm, well, the water was almost decent, and they produced, well, they didn’t produce bitters.
Wait? What the hell? The whole point of cocktails, at least according to Dr. Wondrich, was to import the best ingredients in the world, from the most exotic places in the world. So, I refuse to do a single Boston cocktail…But in the spirit of cooperation, I will pull a local cocktail from my home town of Chicago in the New York Sour, and one in my home away from home, Bermuda, where I spent my childhood in both the rum swizzle and the twilight fog cocktail.
First up is my drink from the Second City: The New York sour. Wait…What? Chicago drink…New York sour? This does not follow, but according to Dave Wondrich, it became quite the sporting thing in the City of Big Shoulders to top up your rye sour with just a bit of claret.
- 1.5 oz – Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt)
- .75 oz – Simple Syrup
- .75 oz – Lemon Juice
- .75 oz – Claret (Castillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon)
Shake whiskey, syrup, and juice together, and float claret on top. Serve in a cocktail glass. Garnish with a flag.
I would use just a tad less lemon juice, and I also topped it up with a dash each of Peychaud’s and Regan’s orange bitters. This would also make a pleasant punch if topped up with a few ounces of ginger ale or lemon-lime soda for every serving. And now onto my childhood in Bermuda.
The rum swizzle is a classic of the Swizzle Inn in Bermuda, and quite possibly my mother’s favorite drink.
- 1 oz – Dark Rum (Gosling’s Black Seal)
- 1 oz – Gold Rum, preferably Bajan (Mount Gay Eclipse)
- .5 oz – Orange Cordial (Jaquin’s Triple Sec)
- .5 oz – Lemon Juice
- 1.25 oz – Orange Juice
- 1.25 oz – Pineapple Juice
- .5 oz – Falernum (Paul Clarke’s #10)
- 1 dash – Angostura Bitters
Shake all the ingredients together and serve over ice in a tall glass, or use twice the above recipe for every two guests and serve as puncheon. Garnish with a flag, straw, and swizzle stick.
But it wouldn’t be MxMo without a Scrivenal Original, and this is no exception. On the other hand, if I didn’t use ingredients local to somewhere it wouldn’t be “local flavour.” So, in that spirit, I update the good ol’ dark and stormy (which I covered last month, here), into a modern cocktail, adding this bittering ingredient:
The Twilight Squall Cocktail
- 1.5 oz – Dark rum (Of course use Gosling’s Black Seal)
- .5 oz – Falernum (Paul Clarke’s #10)
- .5 oz – Ginger Syrup
- .5 oz – Lime Juice
- 1 dash – Aromatic Bitters (Angostura)
- 2 dash – Pepper infused wine or spirits (Scrivenal Sherry Peppers #1)
- 1-2 oz. – Bermuda Stone Ginger Beer (Barret’s or Regatta)
Shake all ingredients together, serve in a cocktail glass, top up with Barret’s and garnish with a lime wedge, a cherry, and/or a cube of candied ginger.
Feel free to substitute Scrivenal Sherry Peppers #1 with Outerbridges sherry peppers or rum peppers, or of course, your own family’s traditional recipe. However, my peppers are spiced with other spices so sub the falernum and ginger syrup with a third ounce each pimento (“allspice”) dram, ginger syrup, and falernum to get the spice notes. You could also replace the ginger syrup with Canton or Giffard’s ginger cordial.
This cocktail tastes quite similar to the dark and stormy which spawned it, and this is with fair intention. However, the falernum, bitters, and spiced sherry all combine to take this from a simple refreshing highball to a complex, gingery, rummy cocktail. While the dark and stormy is a great drink for the plantation porch or the sailboat cockpit, the twilight squall is cocktail for the dinner club in town or the yacht club bar.