Welcome back to Mixology Monday, the online monthly cocktail party! This month, Dagreb over at Nihil Utopia is hosting our little get together with the theme of “Burden of Proof”. Specifically, he describes this theme thusly:
My theme this time is overproof. Or rather how you utilize overproofs. Do you sub them into your standards? Save them for accents in particular recipes? Pour them into ceramic volcanoes and set them on fire? Reserve them only for making liqueurs? Whatever it be I’m looking for your recipes that use overproofs as a base or as modifier in a noticeable -WAIT- “What’s an overproof,” you ask? “Well, uh, yeah…” First let’s decide what is proof. It’s my party so I say 50% abv is proof. Above that is overproof. You disagree? Host your own party! (No really host a MxMo, it’ll be fun.) So BIB [100 proof Barreled in Bond] liquors are exempt this month but lots of bottles are fair game! Whether it boldly proclaims its strength on the label or nonchalantly lets you discover its strength for yourself use that bottle that packs a punch in a drink this month.
I was excited about this when I saw the twitter prompt, but then I realized my existing stash of 100 proof and 90 proof spirits wouldn’t cut it! I happened to be coming into a bottle of Wild Turkey 101 and some Absinthe so I had the spirits to meet these requirements. Then the other problem I ran into reared its ugly head – I was actually on vacation visiting friends I hadn’t seen in years in Western New York. This managed to include a good jaunt into Canada, Dagreb’s welcoming country, and saw Niagara falls. Spectacular, by the way, on the Canadian side.
With that in mind, I realized I needed to come up with an idea on the flight back, late Sunday night, and try to get this concept together in time for tonight’s post. Combining bourbon and absinthe is a terribly appealing start. I knew that I needed some citrus added into the drink to create a bit of a flavor depth and counterpoint to the strength of the main ingredients. I looked to Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters as an accent, banking on the absinthe being sweet enough to bring that component to the drink. As a name, in light of the trip to those falls, Over the Falls became the chosen name!
Over the Falls
- 1.5oz Overproof Bourbon, Wild Turkey 101 this time
- .75oz Absinthe
- .50oz Lemon Juice
- Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters
- Combine the first three ingredients in a shaker tin two-thirds filled with ice.
- Shake like you are going over a waterfall in a barrel
- Strain into a chilled glass
- Add a few dashes of bitters and a lemon peel to garnish
Okay – this didn’t turn out quite as well as I had hoped. The absinthe didn’t bring quite as much sweetness as I expected to the drink. If I were not scrambling to get this post in under the wire, I would continue to experiment with ways to add depth to the drink. Most likely, Over the Falls 2.0 will add .25oz of Dry Vermouth and .25oz of a Fruit Syrup.
Generally, Over the Falls came out much smoother and easier to drink than I expected. The Wild Turkey 101, despite being an overproof bourbon has a distinct smoothness and clear bourbon flavor. Absinthe is, well, absinthe. It has an anise flavor with a slight tarty twang and a good bit of sweetness and a good bit of herbal components. These two combine nicely to create the base of a drink that the lemon juice plays off in repose. The dryness of the drink is pleasing to my jaded taste buds, but that is why I am considering the addition of a fruit syrup to round out the drink in the next iteration.
Cheers to Dagreb for hosting this Mixology Monday! A Cheers to Fred at Cocktail Virgin for continually herding these cats that call themselves cocktail bloggers! Finally, a cheers to you the MxMO readers!