Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Last Straw

Last week's TDN theme was Wheat Whiskey, so I came up with a couple drinks to contribute.  Now this night didn't call for a "wheated whiskey", such as Maker's Mark, which simply contains some wheat but uses at least 51% corn, yielding a "wheated Bourbon".  This called for a true wheat whiskey, and although there are only a handful available, the suggested Bernheim I could get from my trusty Astor Wines.  (Truth be told, you could probably easily get away with substituting Maker's or something in these drinks.)  I'd never had a wheat whiskey, but I have to say it's not bad.  Kinda like a slightly drier Maker's, and perhaps a bit more floral and crisp.
This first drink is a variation on the equal parts Last Word cocktail, switching out the base of Gin for the Bernheim, getting the cherry notes from the deeper Heering instead of the brighter Maraschino, lemon for lime, and getting the herbal notes from Strega instead of Chartreuse. This was another drink whose name came first and the recipe flowed from that.  Just to tie this drink to its progenitor a bit more strongly (and to play with a new ingredient I just got from Cocktail Kingdom), I did finish it after straining with a couple dashes of Elixir Végétal de la Grande-Chartreuse, Green Chartreuse's ornery granddad.  People tried it with regular Green Chartreuse and seemed pleased if that's all you got; you'll still get the aromas.
Last Straw
  • ¾ oz Bernheim Wheat Whiskey
  • ¾ oz Strega
  • ¾ oz Cherry Heering
  • ¾ oz lemon
  • couple dashes of Elixir Végétal de la Grande-Chartreuse (or substitue good ol' Green)
Shake first four ingredients and strain into cocktail glass, top with a couple dashes elixer
I think it came together pretty well.  The drier Bernheim works better than a richer whiskey might to keep the drink balanced and bright, and you still get tons of herbal and cherry notes from the two liqueurs, which I've seen play well in a drink before. 

This also gave me a chance to show off my new favorite cocktail glass, which I found a pair of in a little antique shop in Port Townsend, WA (on the to-be-blogged sailing trip).  It's got beautiful amber coloring, made circa 1930 (according to the proprietor's best guess), no seams, sexy curves, nice etching...
For reference, here's the drink this one was based on:
Last Word
  • ¾ oz Gin
  • ¾ oz Maraschino
  • ¾ oz Green Chartreuse
  • ¾ oz lime
Shake and strain into cocktail glass

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