Welcome back to this installment of Mixology Monday, the online monthly cocktail party. Every month, a different host puts out a theme and we try to find or create a cocktail to meet that theme. This month, Doc, at Doc Elliott’s Mixology, challenges us to “Brace Yourself.” As Doc describes in the announcement post:
Now that the holidays are behind us, we get to deal with the rest of winter… that magnificent season of grey skies, blustery winds, freezing sleet and blowing snow. January is Mixology Monday CV and we’re definitely talking cocktails. Winter usually evokes scenes of roaring fires with glasses or mugs filled with warming liquid fortifying us against the cold and damp. Winter provides the shared universal experience that spans language, geography and the centuries – that moment just before you step out into the cold; to walk to the bus stop, hit the ski slope, shovel the snow or feed the livestock. So what adult beverages can best prepare the body and steel the will for that moment when we go forth into Winter?
How to steal oneself for the winter and wintry weather was something that I was struggling with answering. You see, in Arkansas where I live, it has been unseasonably warm for the past few months and winter was not really feeling like “Winter.” Then our weather outlook changed and that monster system dumping snow across DC and New York started its precipitation here. Our local snowfall over one night was 5-8”, and while that does not seem like much you have to remember that our average January snowfall is 1.5” that sticks around for half a day. While local public works departments handled things with great aplomb, that much snow with a little bit of ice underneath it all did get one day with a lot of school and government closings. I was dancing in the last of the snow and beginning to find an inspiration.
As travel was contraindicated still, I turned to what I had in the house as I thought about making sure our sidewalk was shoveled. I thought about Irish Coffee for a moment. Irish coffee is basically an Irish Whiskey and coffee highball with a dab of simple syrup and garnished with whipped cream. Hurm. The coffee part was appealing to me, but the whipped cream was not so much. As I smelled the coffee brewing, I examined the bar for ways to make this a bit more pleasing to my palate.
A good strong bourbon was going to be the alcoholic base for the drink, but I wanted to sweeten it without resorting to simple syrup. I grabbed the spice laden Becherovka and the Allspice Dram to provide sweetness as well as their respective spices to the end result.
Hoar Frost’s Fall
- 1oz Bourbon, 100 proof
- 1oz. Becherovka
- 1oz Allspice Dram
- 5oz Medium-Dark Roast Coffee
- Build the drink in a coffee mug
- I didn’t even garnish it
The best way to start the description is to tell you that the nose was redolent with spices and that theme continued through. The Becherovka and Allspice Dram definitely got the chance to come out and play in the drink as the coffee’s slight bitterness amped up the flavors of both. The bourbon provided a warming effect, above and beyond the temperature of the drink providing that extra “oomph” from the higher proof. It was a way to shake off any lingering doubts before stepping outside to perform a task so rare, I don’t think I own a snow shovel.
Thanks to Doc at Doc Elliott’s Mixology for hosting this month and to Fred at Cocktail Virgin for continuing to corral, herd, and maintain this disparate group of bon vivants an ne’er-do-wells.