This month’s Mixology Monday theme is “Perfect Symmetry.” Hosted by Southern Ash, the idea is to find a balance between two related liquors or liqueurs. His examples included sweet and dry vermouth, bourbon and rye, gin and vodka, and tequila with mezcal. I would like to offer two drinks this month. The first, a bit of a cheat on vermouth and vermouth, is the Golden Kiss. A blend of Lillet Blanc and Kina L’ Avion D’ Or with dry curaçao. Of course Kina Lillet, of 007 fame, is no longer available, so combining Lillet with a quinquina makes some sense, (to me anyway.) I have been playing with Suze and Kina L’ Avion D’ Or so the segue to the Golden Kiss was simple. The Lillet and Kina L’ Avion D’ Or share the fruity taste of orange, marmalade and apricot. While the Lillet has a floral note, the Kina L’ Avion D’ Or has the bitterness of cinchona. Together with the dry curaçao, they play together nicely. I originally used Suze instead of the dry curaçao, and if you like bitterness, I would suggest you try it, but it will be bitter. Here is the recipe:
- 2 ozs. Chilled Lillet Blanc
- 2 ozs. Chilled Kina L’ Avion D’ Or
- 1 oz. Dry curacao such as Pierre Ferrand
- 3 or 4 frozen strawberries
- Combine all ingredients in a chilled champagne flute
- Serve with the strawberries as ice cubes
My primary offering is the Autumn Spirit. This drink combines Irish whiskey with American single malt whiskey and bittersweet burnt honey. I finished it with Fees Brothers Whiskey Barrel- Aged Aromatic Bitters and served it neat in a brandy snifter.
For the whiskeys, I used Tullamore Dew 10 year old Single Malt Irish Whiskey and St Georges Single Malt Whiskey. The Tullamore Dew has the earthy, grassy flavors of Irish whiskey with the flavors of fruit, (apricot, pineapple, raisin) and wood. The St Georges has a forward almond flavor with a floral nose and the taste of cocoa. Having been aged in similar casks (bourbon, sherry and port) the wood flavors blend nicely.
Being partial to bitters forward old fashioneds, I thought that burnt honey syrup would be fun to try with whiskey. The burnt honey, which I burned to a dark coffee color, brought out some of the wood while the honey brought along the floral and grassy notes. The cinnamon, spice and wood flavors of the Fees Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Aromatic Bitters enhanced the earthiness, cocoa and fruit of the whiskeys.
- 1 oz. Tullamore Dew 10 year old Single Malt Irish Whiskey
- 1 oz. St Georges Single Malt Whiskey
- ½ oz. burnt honey syrup (see below)
- 10-12 drops Fees Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Aromatic Bitters
- Combine all ingredients in a brandy snifter
- Serve neat
Burnt Honey Syrup
- Large pot – 8 qts
- Long sleeve jacket/apron/chef’s jacket
- Pair of heavy heat proof gloves
- 1 Cup Grade A Honey
- 1 Cup Water
- In a large pot with steep sides, heat the honey over high heat stirring frequently. Note: the honey will foam and multiply several times in volume, so use at least an 8 qt pot.
- When the honey begins to boil, about 3 minutes, begin stirring constantly. The foam will be so thick that you will only see the color of the honey in the spoon.
- Continue to boil, lowering the temperature if needed to keep control of the foam, until the honey is dark brown to black – about 12 minutes.
- Slowly add the water. WARNING: the water will spit molten honey onto exposed skin or your eye. Keep adding water, stirring constantly until incorporated.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
- Store in the refrigerator.