Sunday, October 28, 2018

Casa delle Streghe

There are an untold near-infinite number of pumpkin or butternut squash-and-something cocktails at this point gathering up on the interwebs.* Which seems downright anti-foodie, frankly. There are dozens of winter squash varieties out there, all with varying flavor profiles (no, they are not interchangeable, the flavor pairing guide you're reading is just frickin' lazy). You have yellow-colored squashes that pair with lemon, basil, nutmeg, and ginger notes. Next are medium-colored/light orange squashes that get mellow and nutty, and a bit of orange juice or cinnamon wouldn't be amiss. Finally you have the darker colored squashes trending borderline red which do dip into full-on savory territory (think Thai or Mexican or African flavors).

*The lone exception of course being the elegant pumpkin-buttery Mai Chai served in a delicata squash. Big muse-favor for that one!

Or rather, the above doesn't do it justice. Honest to goodness, folks, wouldn't you prefer a world where seasonal flavors were more integrated with what's going on outside? Where flavor changes weren't dictated by quarterly earning statements? Where your pumpkin spice fatigue doesn't start in late August? [insert rant on short-term thinking corporate artificialization of all culture]

Get out of that cubicle! Don't let life pass you by! You're stressed because you live a life that doesn't coincide with Mother Nature and is drowned in light pollution that makes you forget there are billions of stars in the sky! Yaaaaaaawwwwwwppp!!!!!!!


Ok then, class, let's turn back to the blackboard and go over the details for the new fall flavor regime management plan guidance..

MoD's rules for fall flavors

September: hazelnuts, fresh apples, banana bread ebbing over from August, light lemony squashes like Acorn, Carnival and Delicata; light hints of maple; granola
October: full-on tart red apples like McIntosh; medium squashes like Kabocha, Butternut, Buttercup; Pumpkin late month extending to Thanksgiving; walnut and rosemary (to bring back around at Christmas for Jupiterian symbolic reasons); start bringing in the spice cake flavors, perhaps blended with squash to begin integration
November: pecan and heavy maple, heavy squashes like red kuri (which extend into January flavors), smoke, sage and darker flavors with an eye towards maced fruitcake and game meats at the holidays

Don't blame me, blame my synaesthesia and affinity for assigning colors to months based on the visual calendar scheme from the end of that one Richard Scary book when we were all 3. 
Simply put, September: yellow-fading-tan, October: robust red-orange, November: bare tree and roasted turkey brown. Voila!

But now then, frankly this is much more of a September recipe than on October one, but time has not been on the blog's side of late. (though then, I also wanted to do this recipe back in 2012 - perseverance!) You should still be able to get carnival squash at the grocery store, though.

Please your palate! Give it a new flavor beyond pumpkin or butternut! (and follow the link to get the recipe for Carnival squash syrup, plus a bonus recipe for Carnival squash mash)

Casa delle Streghe
1 oz reposado tequila (Herradura)
1/2 oz brandy (Spanish)
(short) 3/4 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz Strega
lemon ring for garnish

Shake, strain, garnish.

The tequila shines through, rounded and deepened by the brandy, with an added lilt of vanilla. The squash syrup adds a gentle lemony creaminess, accentuated by Strega's untamed herbaceous mix. Perfectly witchy.

Just don't overdo the lemon, the squash syrup gets a little shy with the sweetness.

I'd reference the tequila-Strega Acapulco #2 cocktail on Difford's Guide, but the ratio on that with an ounce of lemon juice shows that could have been thought-through better.

My original idea was something along the lines of a Squash Flower Sour. Except squashes and squash flowers don't coincide seasonally for some strange reason.

[Boomer: And you were going to go on a rant about non-local artificiality?]

Oh. Yeah. So we had to make our own fun do.

I tip the hat to Kythera, for sending her dove to let me know the recipe was finished as-is, then to Eriounes (Mousagetes!) for sending me the perfect name as soon as I asked. Casa delle Streghe: the ghost mansion.