Drink Freely, and of Your Own Will.
Welcome once again to Mixology Monday, the monthly online cocktail party! Every month, a new host takes his or her turn with a theme for us to try. This month, JFL at Rated R Cocktails asks us to take a look at Spooky Sips! As he describes it:
October is the most magical time of year. There’s a ghoulish revelry in the air, a perfect time for kitschy creeps. As the Tiki Terror and the master of my own brand of Horror Tiki I’ve always saved my best works for October. A time when I can present them in a month long Halloween Bash here on the Dark Isles. This month as the host of MxMo I invite all my blogger friends to join in my party. This year we’ve remade all manner of classics that are complex in their simplicity. However my idea is more esoteric and out there. Something to challenge your creativity. I trust all of you will rise to the challenge.
October means Halloween. Halloween means kitschy parties and my favorite classic horror movies on the television. Here on the blog we’ve done tributes to Karloff, Dracula, and of course Vincent Price just to name a few. Tiki is rich with adventurous drinks that call to the terrifying. The Sidewinder’s Fang, the Shrunken Skull, the Shark’s Tooth, and of course the venerable Zombie. However I am sure there are creepy classics as well. Your challenge for my MxMo of Horrors is to create a terrifying tipple. It could be a drink that just screeches Halloween. Maybe it’s a recipe to honor your favorite horror movie or star. It could be a spooky garnish or petrifying punch. Heck if you wanna make eyeball jello shots who am I to tell you no. Let your creativity shine, I want to hear the blood curdling screams of your readers as they sip your creepy creations. Want to join my haunted bash?
My first thought was to play with Satan’s Whiskers … and then I looked the recipe back up and realized it was nearly identical to what I was riffing on last month for Mixology Monday with the Sales Tax Cocktail.
That would not do.
Instead, I turned my attention to one of the greatest pop culture figures who rules Halloween – Count Dracula. There are numerous versions and iterations of Stoker’s vampiric lord inspired in differing amounts by certain historical figures such as the Countess Bathory and her purported bathing in blood to retain her youth, or at least youthful appearance, to Vlad III from what is now Romania. Yes, the good Count that has haunted a thousand thousand dreams will do nicely.
Taking my cue from the crisp dichotomy of Count Dracula from Stokers book, civilized and of impeccable manners while hiding under it a feral anger, I have settled on sharing with you The Voivode’s Hospitality. The Voivode was a title for lord or war-leader in the region of Eastern Europe from which Count Dracula is purported to hail. IN fact, Stoker includes several references to an ancient Voivode who had defeated the Turks with speculation that it was actually the Count himself. For this drink, the refinement plus coarseness that underlies the vampire lord’s appeal, I looked to the traditional grape must distilled beverage of rakia. Lacking rakia, I made do with grappa made in a similar fashion. I turned to the cherries, also a common component of Romanian culture distilled as well, along with plums. I rounded out the flavors with Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth and Becherovka providing spice and body while the Peychauds Bitters offered a color enhancement as well as a nice anise touch. The Dry Curacao tamps down the overwhelming richness and sweetness of the drink while the lemon twist give just enough citrus to make the drink inviting ….
- 1.5oz Grappa
- .5oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
- .5oz Cherry Liqueur
- .25oz Becherovka
- .25oz Dry Curacao
- 2-3 dashes Peychauds Bitters
- Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin 2/3 full of ice.
- Stir thoroughly to chill and dilute
- Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with lemon twist and glowing ice cubes.
This is not a balanced cocktail. A fair warning that the veneer of civility and refinement offered in this drink only barely hides the sweet, spicy, and powerful drink beneath. The drink trends to both sweet and herbal from the highlights in a way that is a pleasing drink on a cold night in a drafty castle, but something doesn’t seem quite right. It holds its legs a little too long in your mouth, the drink seems to lack something in its creation, but you find yourself gently sipping more and more by the candlelight.
Will you accept another offer of hospitality from the Voivode? Can you afford not to?