Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thanksgiving Cocktails

With Thanksgiving upon us, I decided to conduct a little mixology experiment and create some fall-themed cocktails. The results were, shall I say ... mixed. I had a great time playing around with ideas though, and I encourage you to conduct your own mixology experiments!

Experiment #1: Create a flirty, festive martini that warms the soul with a punch of fruit.
Result: "The Cranaretto"

Recipe: 2 ounces of Amaretto liqueur mixed with cranberry juice
Instructions: pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with frozen cranberries
Notes: This was quite lovely actually -- very sweet and a bit strong, more of an after dinner drink, or a slow-sipping cocktail for a festive party. I tasted a bit of a "cherries jubilee" flavour from this combination.
Pairing: I would pair this with brie en croute. Might be excellent for Christmas or Valentine's Day as well.

Experiment #2: Play with the classic combination of pear and chocolate in a cocktail.
Result: Pear and Chocolate Dessert Drink (not photo worthy)

Recipe: 1.5 ounces of Kalhua mixed with pure pear juice, served on ice.
Notes: This was way too sweet! Tasted like drinking chocolate syrup, laced with a hint of pear juice. If you could layer this correctly, it might work as a shot, but I thought this experiment failed a bit...
Pairing: The only use for this drink in my eyes would be to serve it in a large glass and add a dollop of vanilla ice cream. It would serve nicely as a float or a dessert drink, but definitely not on its own.

So far in this liquid laboratory the score is: Science 1, Heather 0.

Experiment #3: Make the ultimate Thanksgiving signature cocktail
Result: Old Fashioned Harvest Brew

Recipe: 1 oz. vodka, cold apple cider, cinnamon stick, brown sugar and lemon
Instructions: Rim the glass with a lemon wedge, then in brown sugar. Over ice in a cocktail shaker mix the vodka and cold apple cider. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Notes: This was not bad, but could have been a lot more delicious with a higher quality apple cider. It might work better as a hot beverage. I considered adding apple liqueur to it as well, or some vanilla bean...any suggestions for how to make this a better beverage?
Pairing: I would drink this alone as a signature drink to get the Thanksgiving festivities off to a good start.

In the end I think these little experiments turned out favourably for the most part. I learned that some flavour combinations just don't work, and some can be surprisingly good! Try the Cranaretto and let me know what you think, or better yet, make up your own festive cocktails!

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