Friday, March 26, 2010

Honeymoons and Spring Fake-outs...

It was warm enough last week, high atop the Potter building, to have all the windows open and to paint the yard furniture. But yesterday, the clouds rolled in again. Today, a nasty thin wind just turned over the garden umbrella we'd rather optimistically raised over two rocking chairs outside my study. The temperature is thirty seven degrees and the unchanging light is the dull, even sort of stuff you get during a snowstorm.

Ken bought me a couple of little azalea plants to put on the porch last week, and I'm going to have to remember to take them inside tonight. When the clouds blow away later, it's supposed to go down into the twenties.

Such is March, and an odd month it's been--health care reform finally passed, Alex Chilton and Fess Parker gone, a week of sunshine and balmy breezes dotting the ends of the bare tree branches with green...and today, murk and shuddery cold. After I do my radio show tonight, and Ken gets back from practicing, we'll probably light the first fire we've had since the big snowstorms of just a few weeks back.

One could spite the turn in the weather with a tropical drink, but I'm thinking something soothing might be more to the point. In my continued exploration of the Ted Haigh Cocktail book, I ran across The Honeymoon Cocktail last weekend. It's a good drink for a night like this: not too winter-heavy, a tad on the sweet side but not cloyingly so. It's a venerable drink, supposedly from The Brown Derby chain in LA. I swore I wasn't going to quote any more of Haigh's recipes in this blog, but after playing with his formula some, I simply can't beat it--with the caveat that although he calls for Calvados, I do use Applejack, which he says is OK. There are other formulations kicking around the web, but many of them call for far too much Benedictine, which will give you something that tastes too medicine-y for me.

Here's what I do:

2 oz applejack
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz orange curacao
1/2 oz lemon juice

Shake hard, serve up in a cocktail glass with a lemon twist. Haigh suggests flaming the lemon twist (putting a lighter to it while you're twisting it over the drink to spark up some of the oil that will emerge, a tricky fillip). That last thing is perhaps advisable to impress your guests or Significant Other on the first round, but if you make a second round, please don't do it. You'll burn your fingers for sure! A plain old lemon twist, while not as sexy as the flamed one, is just fine in this interesting drink.

Anything with applejack in it is bound to be tasty, and with the nicely balanced proportions of Haigh's recipe, the complex flavors of the Benedictine won't overwhelm any amateurs in your crowd. Cheers!

See you at 4 EDT on!

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