It's once again time for Mixology Monday, the impetus for starting this blog thing. This month is hosted by Amelia at Felicia’s Speakeasy, and the theme is "Vodka is Your Friend."
I touched on my feelings about vodka in my last MxMo entry, when I used a Ginger infused (random) vodka in one of my submissions, and those feelings remain mostly unchanged. I am generally scornful of vodka as an ingredient, but was recently made aware of its ability to tame otherwise aggressive ingredients such as Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur when I was told of the Black Negue. I had always sensed the potential of the liqueur of the alps but never quite figured out how to use it properly. So I decided to try to pair vodka with another notoriously alpha but delicious spirit, Fernet Branca. To give him someone to tangle with I had the also formidable Cynar step in for vermouth, and let the vodka keep the peace as the schoolmaster. For this I actually did use Russian Standard vodka I generously received as a gift from an attendee at our party Saturday, so I think the name appropriate, plus it harkens back to one of my favorite movies. Yes I know Vilnius is in Lithuania. Not quite sure where Lithuania is though.
stir and strain into chilled cocktail glass
- ¾ oz Fernet Branca
- ¾ oz Cynar
- 1½ oz Vodka
I was originally going to submit only this more playful drink before coming up with the one above, but I'll still include him. In yet another example of devising a drink to match a name, I give you the Surrender Monkey. I started with the classic Monkey Gland and swapped in French ingredients for everything. Instead of gin, I use a combo of cognac and vodka. For the sake of the theme, pretend I use the French Ciroc, but I actually used Ketel One because that's what I had at hand. But we all know no one could taste the difference in this. And for the absinthe I used the french Le Tourment Vert, which, while far from my favorite absinthe, I find sometimes works well for mixing due to it's less aggressive nature. Note, I have no problem with French ingredients, I just enjoy being coarse.
Shake and strain into chilled coupe glass.
- ¾ oz Vodka
- ¾ oz Cognac
- 1 oz fresh OJ (I used blood orange because that's what I had handy)
- splash Le Tourment Vert Absinthe
- ¼ oz grenadine (homemade of course)
- orange twist for garnish
This is by no means better than the classic recipe, but I amused myself enough to include it, and it may have occasion to be mixed up now and again.
(My wife had those napkins made up for when we host cocktail parties. We've got pink ones with pigs and green ones with dragons too.)