Over the holidays, I received a plethora of cocktail books, as well as a digital camera with which to record my endeavors for posterity. Hah, I kid! I bought myself many things to do with alcohol because I am a sad and lonely person. And, among the things that I have learned already is the sad fact that, even if your digital camera is amazing, your pictures will be mediocre until you take about a zillion. So, until such a time, y’all will just have to put up with my terrible attempts at picture-making.
Actually, while we are on that note. When we moved into our apartment, the kitchen was painted a terrible, sickly apple green, which we quickly changed to a warm, welcoming yellow. It made it one of the nicest rooms in the apartment, and I have never regretted it. BUT! It turns out that while yellow is great for warm and fuzzy feelings, it is not so great for taking pictures! All of your mostly clear cocktails look yellow! This is lame! So stay tuned for, you know, a solution to that problem. Also in the future: curing both cancer and Ugg boots, at the same time!
So, as I was kind of starting to say. I bought myself many books about the demon rum (and gin and whiskey and kümmel and…), and among them was Killer Cocktails, by none less than David Wondrich, he who is called king among cocktailians, master among mixologists, and to whom green-winged devils sing hosannas (but, you know, devilishly), yay, he who slew the dragon ignorance and wrested Jerry Thomas back from the tides of history. You know, the guy who wrote Imbibe! It is kind of lamely bound, but has lots of interesting ideas, as well as a few cocktails that are probably in my newly acquired Savoy Cocktail Book, but which I would have to go recipe after recipe to find, and that is a lot of work.
So I decided to try a recipe as soon as I got home from the parents house and back to my bar. And that recipe was the… Weeski Cocktail. Seriously, that is the one I chose out of a hat. The one with the name so stupid you have to immediately apologize for calling it that. But I wanted a brown drink (it is winter, people), it called for Irish whiskey, and I have a lovely bottle of Redbreast which heretofore has been used only in endless Whiskey Skins. Not that that’s wrong, of course. But.
- 2 oz Irish Whiskey (Redbreast)
- 1 oz Lillet Blanc (Lillet Blanc)
- 1 tsp Cointreau (Cointreau)
- 2 dashes Orange Bitters (Homemade Orange-Saffron Bitters)
Stir over ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
This is a… good cocktail. I guess. It’s essentially a Manhattan modified for Irish whiskey, which is, you know, cool, but leaves out the spicy woodiness that, to me, makes Manhattans and their relatives (Guyanas, Red Hooks, Brooklyns, Remember the Maines, I could go on) so special. David Wondrich says
If whiskey were french, this is my interpretation of what it would taste like – suave, subtle, and utterly untrustworthy.
And that is totally right (while, at the same time, ignoring a plethora of put-hair-on-your-chest marcs, armagnacs, and calvados). This drink goes down a treat, and hits like the proverbial iron fist (which, as you may recall, resides generally within a velvet glove). And yet. I guess I am one of those annoying people who ends up liking difficult things? There’s something missing here, but if you’ve got a lady friend (or effeminate man) who wants to drink whiskey but shies away from the classics, this would work wonders. But for those who don’t need whiskey sidling up to them and making lewd propositions, instead preferring the full-frontal flasher attack, look elsewhere.