I still have almost a liter of homemade Pimento Dram left, and it must be the perfect winter ingredient.  With the 2-3 feet of snow covering Burlington this week, I felt obligated to figure out a faster (and less lethal) way to use it than splitting endless bowls of Wenzhou Punch with the Girlfriend.  I based the Winter’s Tail on American whiskey and liqueur cocktails like the Monte Carlo and Toronto.  I was trying to think of an appropriately wintry name for the drink when Shakespeare’s bear-eats-a-minor-character-off-stage-play popped into my head.  The name puns so well with one of the most famous classic Pimento Dram drinks – the daisy-ish Lion’s Tail – that I knew it was fate.

Winter’s Tail (original, possibly):

  • 2 oz bourbon (Eagle Rare)
  • 3/4 oz Pimento Dram (homemade)
  • 2 dashes aromatic bitters (homemade clove bitters)
  • 2 dashes orange bitters (The Bitter Truth)
    Stir with ice, strain into cocktail glass, garnish with an orange peel.

This was quite pleasant, with a nice, distinct mulling-spices dimension.  In the future I might try cutting back the Pimento Dram and using a rich syrup for mouthfeel (I haven’t yet given in and gotten gomme syrup, but this seems like a good place to use it).

My homemade P.D. is much less heavy on clove than the St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram, and has a sharpish fusel alcohol note from the El Dorado 151 it was based on.  Were I to remake it – which I won’t, since the St. Elizabeth’s is quite lovely – I would probably use a mix of cloves and allspice, as they seem to, and base it on a richer rum.  I touched up the clove notes by using my homemade clove bitters, but any aromatic bitters would probably work just fine.

After dinner The Girlfriend asked if I wanted a dessert drink, and, when I said yes, I was presented with a classic Alexander.  While I didn’t find the gin/chocolate/dessert-drink thing off-putting, as some quite reasonably do, I found it too boozy to be comforting.  I much prefer a classic milk punch, which masks its considerable, well, punch with a comfortable amount of dairy.

Alexander (Joy of Mixology, modified for my allergies):

  • 2 oz gin (Tanqueray)
  • 1 oz creme de cacao (Marie Brizard)
  • 1 oz cream/milk (local goat’s milk)
    Shake well with ice, strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.

I imagine the goat’s milk is the final straw for anyone who had doubts about this recipe, but it’s been so long since I’ve drunk cow’s milk that I honestly can’t taste any goatishness any more.  Still, not my favorite dessert drink ever.