This weekend was incredibly busy, since we had a million errands to run in order to prepare for the horde of guests descending on us for the coming weekend.  Drinks were simple and hurried, but, for the most part, delicious.

Kuromatsu (Cocktail Virgin Slut):

  • 1 1/2 oz cognac (Bache Gabrielsen Fine)
  • 1/2 oz Cynar
  • 1/2 oz pine liqueur (Leopold Bros. Three Pins)
  • 1/4 oz orgeat (Torani)
    Stir with ice, strain into cocktail glass, garnish with a lemon twist.

When I read about the Kuromatsu, I was first intrigued by the combination of Cynar and Zirbenz, and then convinced that it would be far too sweet.  The drink is nearly half sweet liqueur or syrup.  But I decided that a drink with such idiosyncratic ingredients deserved to be made at least once.  And it turned out to be a risk that was very worth taking.

The Kuromatsu opened with the herbal notes from the Three Pins and the dry, grape notes from the cognac, followed quickly by the caramel and cola notes of the Cynar.  The orgeat waited until the end to make an appearance, but its almond flavor made an oddly appealing bridge between all the competing parts of this joyously complicated cocktail.  A long stir helped mitigate the high brix.  Definitely a drink to return to.

Milk Punch (at this point, it’s mine):

  • 1 oz brandy (Bache Gabrielsen Fine)
  • 1/2 oz rum (Kraken spiced rum)
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup
  • 3-4 oz milk (Oak Grove goat milk)
    Shake with ice, pour unstrained into a tumbler.  Grate nutmeg over.

So, as I may have mentioned, I love Milk Punch.  My going recipe is based on the one in Vintage Cocktails, but I tend to make it slightly different every time.  Also, because cow’s milk gives me a violently upset stomach, I have been drinking goat’s milk (which, yes, has just as much lactose as cow’s milk) for the last… while.  I can’t even taste whether this milk punch was particularly goat-y, although I suspect, since I can get fresh, fine, local goat’s milk, that it was not.  It was delicious.

Basically, Milk Punch hits right at the nexus of childish (sweetened milk!) and adult (booze!) tastes in order to trigger all the dopamine receptors.  Unlike a White Russian, however, a Milk Punch has the complexity of wood-aged liquors and only mild sweetness, making it at once less powerful and more sophisticated.  The perfect drink for after dinner, in footie pajamas.

NB – I do not own footie pajamas.