Thursday, December 11, 2014

Falernum and Becherovka: Rhythm of the Night

It started innocently enough as a near-end-of-work recipe idea jotted down on a post-it. Something a little on the lighter side with a spirit-mixer inversion. But then the accents? Oh the accents. The almost-too-obvious (or is that redundant?) accents that make it better than you could have considered on-paper. The other ingredients potentially drive the drink too sweet, but you see, this just gives the dry Becherovka room to work its magic. And the voodoo spice of falernum wedded to those bitter baking spices? Here's a combination that makes your cocktail come alive, man!

Furthermore, sometimes you find a magical combination that births a heck of a lot of recipe bunnies (and why haven't more recipes done this besides The Exporter, for that matter?). And then sometimes when you go and test some out again, the moment has already passed and they flop for one reason or another. So, in the spirit of being a muse, I'm going to give you two recipes - one today, one tomorrow - then the bunnies can invade your living room! Better be sure to stock up on alfalfa.

Rhythm of the Night
1 oz reposado tequila (Corralejo)
1 1/2 oz Dubonnet Rouge
1/4 oz (fat) falernum
1/4 oz Becherovka
2 dashes orange bitters (Angostura)
1 sprig thyme for garnish

Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. 
Garnish with thyme.

Nose: orange, faint berry/herbs and spice background. Agave-spice. Faint hint of celery herb.

Palate: LUSH. Busy, rich, dervish delight, despite the relatively lighter-proof. Big ginger-agave spice from the lowlands Corralejo. Berry undertone. Just dive in and taste it for yourself.

Why the thyme? I can't resist jerk seasoning pairings. And, it's an unexpected note that fits the music of the drink while not under or overemphasizing other notes.

When you're feeling around for a cocktail name, sometimes you gotta go with what hits your mind, no matter the kitsch. Granted, I was googling early 90s dance pop hits at the time and "Spark in the Night" had too many articles and prepositions for my taste (I know, right?). The colors involved, down to Corralejo's brilliant blue bottle, scream Corona's so-named song with its Christmas-light-colored blips and bleeps. But then some merry prankster's liable to come along, point out the tequila pushes it into the Latin rhythms of DeBarge's Rhythm of the Night and come back with some terrible Michelada knock-off to further cement the point, or worse, point out another song or twelve with the exact same name because it really is that generic.

Your move, merry prankster.

And, psst, stick around. There's one more recipe in this mode to come, but it's a Secret.