Monday, December 17, 2012

Mixology Monday, December 2012: Humbug

Is this the last Mixology Monday....ever?



Probably not.

In which case, HUMBUG! I really was looking forward to the end of the world. *pouts* (What?! Whaddya expect from a Muse of Doom?)

But to better elaborate, here's what JFL from Rated R Cocktails has to say:
Lets face it the holidays suck, yeah I said it. You put yourself in debt buying crap people will have forgotten about in a month. You drive around like a jackass to see people you don’t even like, or worse they freeload in your house. Your subjected to annoying music, and utterly fake, forced kindness and joy. Plus if you work retail your pretty much in hell, so don’t we all deserve a good stiff drink? So for this Mixology Monday unleash your inner Grinch. Mix drinks in the spirit of Anti-Christmas. They can be really bitter and amaro filled. They filled with enough booze to make you pass out in a tinsel covered Scrooge heap. They could be a traditional holiday drink turned on it’s ear. Or they could be a tribute to your favorite holiday villain. If you celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa then you still suffer through the holidays, so feel free to join in with your Anti-Holiday drink as well. Whatever it is add a hearty “Humbug!” and make your drink personify everything annoying or fake about the holidays.
When active, this link will send you to the summary post of this month's festivities.

La Vielle Fée Dragée

2 oz reposado tequila
1/2 oz cassis vinegar
1/4 oz walnut liqueur
1 dash orange bitters
barspoon absinthe for glass rinse

Shake first four ingredients on ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass that has been rinsed but not emptied of absinthe.

Now...why this particular hodgepodge of ingredients, and what's a Fée Dragée, let alone an old one? Well, if you pop back in next week the day sugar plums dance in your head, you may have a better idea of what I'm riffing off of (some posts are just ideally published on given days). But essentially, what if the Sugar Plum Fairy broke up with her prince, got old and sour, went to pot, and bunked down with her friend the Green Fairy? (I had a dialogue in my head about this, but it's being very slow about it. I may update later on, but you're not missing too much)

But while everyone else seems impelled towards the bitter for their drinks, I'm surprised how overlooked Sour is. I saw the cassis vinegar at Sur la Table this summer and knew it would make an interesting shrub-like ingredient. And it is interesting - almost tomato-ey even. But its big berry notes naturally pair well reposado tequila (think El Diablo). On the other side of the cocktail's equation, the absinthe just tastes really darn good with the repo - the repo isn't so oaked that it loses its vegetal qualities found in blanco, so that the absinthe's fennel, tequila's grass and agave, and nocino's alpine herbs marry well. Moreover the port-like qualities of the nocino undergird and deepen the cassis. The orange bitters' citrus complement the El Diablo pieces and reinforce the herbacious/bitter side of the drink.

And for the record, if you're doing an absinthe rinse for a drink, you're really "bunking down at the Green Fairy's".

[Hat tip to Joel DiPippa of Southern Ash for the linkage. And if you really want to know the name origin of the Perfect Wee Bastard, ye best look in the mirror, lads and lasses.]