Monday, September 17, 2012

MxMo LXV: Equal Parts - Swan Song

Mixology Monday has been on hiatus for the better part of a year, the most recent event being Feb's Tiki theme, but now Frederic Yarm from Cocktail Virgin Slut (and more recently cocktail book author) has taken up both gauntlet and reins in an effort to get our monthly online cocktail confab going again. Fred has chosen as theme for the reboot "Equal Parts":

I have chosen the theme of equal part cocktails -- those simple drinks where only one jigger is needed despite how many ingredients are added. These recipes have gained a lot of popularity as classics like the Negroni and Last Word have resurfaced, and variations of these equal part wonders have become abundant. Besides these three and four equal parts recipes, I have had delightful two, five, and six part drinks, and I have definitely spotted seven and more part Pousse-cafés in the literature.
There is something special about the simplicity of equal parts drinks; they are easy to remember and make, trivial to make the pours a little bigger or smaller depending on mood, and hell, if your lime is a little stingy and doesn't quite give a full ¾ oz, just fill the jigger to the same level with the other ingredients and balance is maintained - no need to try to convert and measure 90% of 1 oz, let alone some fraction of ½ or ¼ oz. You don't even need a jigger, that "1 part" can be eyeballed to the level of the third ridge on a red solo cup, an empty tic-tac box, or whatever else you can grab within reach.
I've fished these waters before (see my "=" tag to the right), eg the 4 ingredient Last Word variation Last Straw, or my 5 constituant Corpse Reviver riff dubbed Blood Infusion, or even the (somewhat absurd) 10 equal factor Einbahnstraße.
My Mixology Monday, I give you another (loose) interpretation of the classic Last Word. I've swapped the gin for rum and the maraschino for orange liqueur. However, I wanted to keep some of the funk that the maraschino usually contributes, so I reached for the hogo-rich Smith&Cross rum. For the orange I'm going with the relatively new Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao, mostly because I prefer my drinks a bit dryer than the Last Word, but also because my bottle a shiny, er tasty, new toy. I'd meant to do a review when I first got it, but that didn't happen and that ship has now sailed, but here the gist: it's good stuff.
Swan Song
Shake and strain into cocktail glass
Since some parts are bigger than others, having a sidecar handy for overflow can be a good idea:
I'm not sure how legit it is to call it a Last Word variant when it has no Maraschino, but that drink is where I started tinkering. The Swan Song still has some bold flavors that I think meld well, and if anything has some rougher edges than it's predecessor, due to the brawny rum demanding it's share of the attention, as opposed to the gin mediating the flavors in the background in the Last Word. But sometimes you're in the mood for a pointy flavor profile.

Enjoy, and let me know what you think if you give 'er a try. And Cheers to Frederic for braving the wrangling to get us going again.

UPDATE: Fred's got the roundup post up, check it out to see all 29 submissions this month.
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