Friday, November 20, 2009

Missouri Mules & Thanks Be To God

Cocktails before Thanksgiving dinner are a tough call. I usually do Cosmos, because of the cranberry and everyone likes 'em. But they go down perhaps a little too easily, and folks unused to anything stronger than a beer tend to get tanked and fall over in the gravy. Well, not REALLY, but sometimes a little too much hilarity ensues. And I don't want to be part of someone's Black Friday headache.

I have a groovy old ice bucket and a hammered silver platter inherited from my great aunt. I was thinking for a while of putting out whiskey and water and ice...which seemed unimaginative. But I do love the taste of whiskey--especially bourbon--around Thanksgiving food, and so I played on the internet for a while. My buddy Ed Odell was talking about a champagne cocktail called a Moonwalk, and when I Googled it, I realized it came from the Savoy Bar in London, employer of the esteemed Joe Gilmore, a man who created drinks to honor the visits and special occasions of folks like Harry Truman, The Queen Mum, and Winston Churchill.

What's good enough for Give 'Em Hell Harry is good enough for me, so I mixed up a Missouri Mule. Here's the recipe, via Wikipedia:

Missouri Mule

2 parts bourbon
2 parts applejack
2 parts fresh lemon juice
1 part Campari
1 part Cointreau

Shake hard & serve up, in a chilled cocktail glass. I garnish with a long, thin strip of lemon zest, curled.

It's a slightly complicated drink--five ingredients--but you can make up a bunch in advance of guests arriving, to shake as needed. It's not sweet. It's almost grapefruit-y, because of the Campari/lemon juice combo. And the mellowness of the bourbon/applejack base plays nicely off that. Best of all, people don't down Mules like Cosmos and end up falling over. This is an interesting-tasting cocktail that will be sagely sipped.

My suggestion would be to also have some of the dinner wine open and breathing to offer folks who might be a bit challenged by a tart drink. AND you could also do Campari and soda for folks who like that, or make a couple of Jack Roses from any surplus applejack.

Problem solved.

My radio show today? I've got the new Rickie Lee Jones. And I'm suddenly (the better part of a decade behind the rest of the hip world) impressed with Sufjan Stevens. See you on the internets! Tune in!


Ed said...

ooo, I made a mention!...I am so having this cocktail tonight while tuning in to your show. Still at the shop though... see here:

...but I will head home shortly. Just want to get a few more tuning scrolls cut and finish off those first five facade pipes.

Ed said...

BTW, (fast forward to 5:42p) to paraphrase our former President, George W. Bunnypants: Mission Accomplished

chrispy said...

Saw those photos, Ed--wow! Ken's beside himself with wanting to play with his new toy! And that he gets it for Christmas (even better, for his birthday, which happens a week before), is just wonderful. The stops look especially gorgeous.

The Missouri Mule is a tasty drink, an autumnal version of the Jasmine you so enjoyed at our house a couple of years ago.

Thanks for listening! Put it on in the shop! Tell your friends!