The theme for this month’s Mixology Monday is “Drink Nerdy.’ Our host, Rebecca of The Shrubbery blog, challenges us to embrace our inner cocktail nerdyness. From her Announcement Post, “The thing that unites everyone who participates in MxMo is our love of of cocktails. We love the history, the alchemy, the artistry, and of course the drinking. Loads of us go to conventions, collect memorabilia, read books about all manner of boozy subjects, and tour distilleries like they’re sacred places. One might say, we’re nerds.” Well, I pretty much resemble that remark!
For starters, if you catch the movie reference in the name, “Thermian Mist,” your SciFi nerd credentials are complete! So, in addition to a nerdy reference in our drink’s name, I wanted to try to incorporate as many cocktail nerd moves I could get into one cocktail.
- Nitrogen Cavitation
- Barrel Aging
- Homemade Bitters
There is a lot going on in this cocktail. We combine sherry barrel aged gin, Lillet, Aquavit, cardamom syrup and homemade gin bitters. The gin was aged 4 weeks in a barrel that had been used to age Sherry, several Manhattans, including a Tequila Manhattan and bourbon. The Sherry went back into the barrel between each Manhattan and before and after the bourbon. So, it had last been used for Sherry just prior to the Gin. What came out was straw colored. The Gin looses some of the brightness of the botanicals but gains a touch of charred oak, a bit of bitterness, clove, cinnamon, dried fruit herbs from the vermouth in the Manhattans along with a bit of spice from the Bourbon. There is a definite touch of Sherry. This, combined with the herbal Lillet, the caraway from the Aquavit and the cardamom in the syrup came out nearly perfect. The “nearly” part is due to the loss of the fresh botanicals in the barrel aging process. In comes our Gin Bitters to replace those lost botanicals. The nose is herbs and lemon oil with a hint of gin. The flavors are gin, the herbal Lillet and Aquavit with a background of oak, cinnamon and sherry. Here is the recipe:
- 1 1/2 oz. Sherry Aged Gin
- 1/2 oz. Lillet
- 1/4 oz. Aquavit
- 2 dashes Cardamon Syrup
- 1 dash Gin Bitters – see below
- 1 lavender leaf and a sprig of thyme for garnish
- Lemon peel
- Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
- Combine the gin, Lillet, Aquavit, syrup and bitters in a mixing glass with ice. Stir to chill
- Strain into the chilled cocktail glass.
- Spank the herbs in your hand and float them on the drink.
- Express the lemon peel over the drink and discard.
By Grabthars Hammer!
This is a simple staged infusion. It will take about 2 1/2 weeks. You infuse gin with various things, then boil the solids in water to extract the oils. You then combine the oils/water back with the infused gin.
- 8 oz Gin
- 6 oz. Each Lemon and Grapefruit peel
- 4 oz. Lime peel
- 2 tsp Coriander
- Cardamom 2 pods cracked
- Star Anise 1 pod cracked
- Dried Hibiscus 3 flowers – Available on Amazon
- Dried Chamomile 5 flowers – Available on Amazon
- 4 gm Fresh Lavender tied in a bundle with a string
- 1/2 Cup water
- 1 TBL Dried Wormwood – Available on Amazon
- 1 Tbl 2:1 Simple Syrup
- In a 1 pint mason jar combine gin and coriander. Set aside in a cool place. Shake the jar every day.
- On day 3, add the cardamom
- On day 4, add the anise, flowers and lavender
- On day 5, add the citrus peel
- On Day 7, filter the solids, reserving everything except the lavender. Pour the gin back into the mason jar, seal and set aside.
- In a small sauce pan, combine the solids and the water. Bring to a low boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool and pour the liquid and solids into a second mason jar. Seal and set aside for 7 days. Shake the jar daily.
- After the 7 days, strain the liquid from the solids into the gin.
- Put the wormwood in a fine mesh sieve and tap it with your hand to remove as much dust and small particles as possible.
- Add the wormwood to the bitters and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain first through a fine mesh sieve and then through a metal coffee filter.
- Working quickly, begin straining the liquid through a paper coffee filter. When the liquid stops going through the paper filter, replace the filter with a new one and keep moving. You need to get the wormwood out of the liquid as quickly as possible. The small particles will make your bitters, too bitter!
- Add the simple syrup. Set aside for an additional 3 days.
- At the end of 3 days, skim off any scum floating on the surface. It will keep indefinitely.