1 ½ oz. Gin
½ oz. White crème de menthe
½ oz. Maraschino liqueur
½ oz. Brandy
Combine all ingredients in ice-filled cocktail shaker
and stir for 20-30 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish
with lemon twist.
From the Art of the Bar by Jeff Hollinger and Rob Schwartz
(adapted from Burke’s Complete Cocktail & Drinking Recipes by Harman
Burney Burke, 1934)
Let's face it, cocktail choices during the
holidays can leave much to be desired. You’d think with the abundance of
shindigs this time of year there'd be all manner of adult beverages to
indulge in. You've got office parties, visits with family, catching up
with out-of-town friends at the local watering hole, and lots of other
excuses to bend the elbow during the weeks between Thanksgiving and year's
end. It's a tippler's paradise.
So why does it seem that no matter where you
go you’re offered either egg nog or some dubious chocolate/peppermint/cinnamon
concoction that delivers its yuletide spirit with the subtlety of a grease
fire? (For the record, I personally love egg nog, but there's only so much
of that stuff one person can reasonably be expected to shovel down. Besides,
have you seen the price of nutmeg lately?)
I humbly offer an alternative that sidesteps
the creamy/syrupy stuff, but still manages to convey the holiday sprit.
The Elixir #2 wasn't designed as a holiday drink, but it sure works as
one. Flavor-wise, the gin & Maraschino cuddle up together nicely, evoking
an earlier holiday vibe where the silver gleam of the cocktail shaker could
be seen in its rightful place next to the glimmer of the tinsel on the
tree. The brandy lends a nice Dickens-era feel throughout, bringing visions
of a redeemed Scrooge and our festive Victorian predecessors gathered at
the hearth. Finally, the crème de menthe puts a whisper of mint
into the equation, giving just the slightest nod to the time of year we're
Now if you want the cocktail equivalent of
a crowded department store loudspeaker blaring Muzak carols, be my guest.
But I'll fill my glass with the distant tinkling of sleigh bells heard
through a snow-laden nighttime forest.
Happy holidays...and remember to leave a bottle
out for Santa!
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