Friday, January 24, 2014

Xmas Leftovers

Being the kind of guy I am, I tend to get alcohol for Christmas. I think that was why New Years was invented - to drink your Christmas liquor! Well, my gracious parents-in-law set me up with a bottle of Speakeasy Bourbon this year, and I have to say, by late January, it's just about gone. There's a good reason for it. One of Willett's newer offerings, Speakeasy delivers a huge caramel nose and taste with edges of of vanilla and coffee. Perfect for Christmas because the flavor blends with the Christmas spices of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. I decided to use it to craft a new holiday cocktail to ring in 2014.

Given the sweetness of Speakeasy, I needed an acid to pair with it. The classic holiday acid is cranberry which, like Willett's booze, is one of my favorite flavors to pour into a glass. So I attempted a cranberry-ginger syrup for heat and tang. Here's the way to make it...

Pour 2-3 coups of fresh cranberries in a large sauce pot. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and 1 1/2 cups of white sugar and stir to dissolve. Heat to boiling and reduce to simmer. Peel a 2-3 inch piece of ginger root. If you are new to this, use a spoon to scrape the brown skin off - it is much easer than using a knife. Once the skin is removed, cut root into thin slices. Add the slices to simmering cranberries; smash softened berries to have them yield more juice. After 20-30 minutes, remove the syrup from stove top, strain and cool.

Xmas Leftovers
Holly's Originals

2 ounces bourbon (I used Speakeasy)
2 ounce cranberry-ginger syrup
1 ounce Benedictine
1 ounce triple sec

Mix all ingredients into a mixing glass that had already been filled with ice. Stir with a barspoon for 40 revolutions. Strain into a cocktail glass or coupe. Enjoy what's left of this really cold winter... with leftovers!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Recreation of Shackleton's 1907 Mackinlay Scotch - Drinking Notes

 My favorite Christmas present this year was a bottle of scotch. Cindy procured a bottle of the recreated 1907 scotch whisky from the ill-fated Shackleton expedition to the South Pole from 1907-1909. The whisky was buried under the hut that Shackleton and his crew built as a staging ground for his expedition. See more here and here. The whisky was then abandoned under ice until their rediscovery nearly 100 years later in 2007. The recovered bottles were analyzed by  Richard ‘The Nose’ Paterson, Master Blender at Whyte & Mackay, the owners of the original Mackinlay brand. They then painstakingly recreated the whisky.