So, among the ingredients I’ve purchased which I regret, my bottle of Stock Kümmel ranks pretty highly. Kümmel, of course, is a sweet, caraway-flavored liqueur, used in just a few classic cocktails, and otherwise drunk only by Russians, Germans, and, apparently, conservative British golfers. It’s pretty blah in most cocktails; its caraway flavor is pretty weak, easily submerged by any stronger flavors. In fact, Erik Ellestad points out that most cocktails are better for using sweetened aquavit instead of the somewhat one-note kümmel. Had I known, I would have saved both the money and the space on my overcrowded bar.
Imagine my delight, then, to discover a recipe which actually makes good use of this otherwise useless bottle.
Stomach Reviver (Savoy Cocktail Book):
- 1 oz brandy (an embarrassingly good cognac to be using in this kind of mess)
- 1 oz kümmel (Stock)
- 1/2 oz Fernet Branca
- 1/4 oz Angostura bitters
Stir, strain, garnish with lemon peel.
I’ll admit that part of the appeal of this drink was the name. Stomach Reviver. So cute! Like a Corpse Reviver, but less ambitious. I’m also usually pretty on-board with any Fernet-heavy cocktail. The heavy dose of Angostura was just the proverbial cherry.
To my delight, the Fernet and kümmel seemed to act synergistically, with the caraway and eucalyptus combining to form a lovely herbal, spearmint flavor. (This is maybe not so surprising. The main flavor compound responsible for “caraway” is S-(+)-carvone. The enantiomer of this compound, R-(-)-carvone, is the principle compound responsible for spearmint’s characteristic aroma. Thus, menthol/camphor from the eucalyptus in Fernet – more compounds that are associated with mint (peppermint, to be fair) – could, potentially, combine with S-(+)-carvone to give the impression of mintiness. Food science can be cool.) This is how I wish Stingers tasted.
The Girlfriend declared, at 9 AM, that she would have a ‘Ti Punch. And so she did.