CRAFT BARTENDERS around town have set a happy precedent of charging at least $12 for their higher-end drinks, affording them the privilege of working with good booze, fresh and seasonal ingredients, and creative garnishes. In step with our theme, here are a few cocktail recipes from some of the brightest booze-centric minds for you to make at home. Satisfy winter cravings at your next holiday shindig with two incredibly decadent drinks—say hello to dairy and whole eggs—and impress friends with two more festive concoctions featuring at least a touch of fermented fun.
Rum Club Cocoa (serves two)
If you've never had the privilege of drinking Mike Shea's (proprietor of Rum Club and one of my very favorite faces) legendary hot chocolate at his bar, try his recipe at home; it's divine, and reportedly coming back to the Rum Club's menu in January. He stresses the importance of using quality chocolate and good brandy or cognac. It'll be worth it, I promise.
1 tbsp. cocoa powder (Dutch process)
2 tbsp. demerara sugar (or an alternative kind of unrefined sugar
b>1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 wide strips of orange peel (use a vegetable peeler)
1 1/2 oz. dark chocolate (65 percent minimum), chopped
3/4 oz. Lemon Hart 151 rum
3/4 oz. brandy or cognac
Whisk together cocoa, sugar, water, and salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until almost boiling. Slowly add milk, cinnamon, and orange peel to heat gently, being careful not to scald (stir often). Add chocolate, stir and whisk thoroughly to incorporate. Remove orange peel, remove from heat, and add vanilla and booze just before serving. Top with optional (but definitely recommended) whipped cream and
Innocent, When You Dream (single serving)
Dustin Knox of Central (a not-so-secret-anymore touch of class in downtown's Ankeny Alley) offers this pleasantly rich pumpkin flip featuring a spiced Austrian spirit and visions of Yuletide cheer. Use pasteurized eggs if you fear the raw touch and worry about calories next year.
1 1/2 oz. Stroh 40
3/4 oz. freshly juiced ginger
1/4 oz. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. pumpkin butter (homemade or store-bought)
1 whole egg
Shake all ingredients together to excess in a cocktail shaker or a closed (and tightly sealed) jar. Add a cup or so of ice and shake again thoroughly. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to serve over ice. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg (freshly grated is preferable).
Imagine that instead of wallowing in our cloudy state, you've been transported to the birthplace of tiki, where fermented pineapple drinks such as this Tepache (also known as Mexican prison beer) from Blair Reynolds, owner of NE Portland's tropical paradise Hale Pele, reign supreme and people get a healthy dose of Vitamin D year-round. Make this on your own if you're having a hard time daydreaming over the sound of rain, and live vicariously through your tastebuds.
rind of 2 pineapples (no fronds)
16 cups water
1 pound piloncillo (Mexican sugar cones, sold at your local tienda) or dark brown/turbinado sugar
1 cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
Mix all ingredients in a pot or large container and cover. Let rest for four days in a warm area. The mixture will begin to ferment and bubble on the surface. Strain through a fine strainer or cheesecloth, and serve very cold. You can either refrigerate it or serve over ice cubes. At Hale Pele they add a half cup of lime juice and two cups of light Puerto Rican rum for an additional dash of the tropics.
Claret Punch No. 7
Wine is a classic incarnation of decay, while punch is a great way to intoxicate a crowd with relatively low labor and cost. A combination of the two suits the season just fine, so try this boozy bowl of fun from Mark Macminn of downtown's Kask and navigate the end of 2012 with a healthy buzz.
1 bottle of Italian red wine (not completely inferior is recommended)
3 oz. Lustau fino sherry
3 oz. cognac 3 oz. Combier orange liqueur
3 oz. oleo saccharum (oil and sugar; to make, mix peels of 4 lemons with 1 cup sugar, let sit overnight, dissolve in 1 cup hot water, strain out peels, and reserve syrup)
1/2 oz. Peychaud's bitters
4-5 oz lemon juice (to taste) 1 oz. St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram (optional, but festive) soda water
Add and mix all ingredients except the juice and soda in the order they're listed. Refrigerate for two hours, add lemon juice and more oleo saccharum, if desired, to taste, and serve with a splash of soda and a couple ice cubes in each cup.