Monday, November 12, 2012
Buvare: Sweater Weather
They say the most dangerous food is wedding cake.
I imagine that trickles down to what's in the toasting glass... So when two of my loveliest friends recently asked me to concoct their wedding reception's signature cocktail I may have broken a small sweat whilst smiling and saying "of course!"
This would just have to be my most perfect cocktail yet.
Not one to take such challenges lightly, I drew up a lengthy survey. I would need to know every detail of the bride & groom's tastes, their vision for the wedding, guest makeup, and --most importantly-- if they like a sweet drank.
After diagramming their answers I hosted a very serious cocktail tasting consultation. A wall of jarred syrups and infusions initially separated us, but after a couple of autumnal trial rounds (November wedding = best cocktail season ever), we all loosened up and began to make some headway. The two couldn't have more disparate tastes, but factoring in a diverse group, we all agreed on vodka. I cloaked it with harvest flavors and textures, resulting in what the clever bride (and one-time ChocoMeat guest writer) christened "Sweater Weather."
Important lessons were learned on the big day (i.e. insist on specifics when a caterer is handling the shopping), but all-in-all the cocktail was well received by the party. In fact, some people forewent the wine and drank it all night.
I suppose I can file that under success.
1 1/2 oz Tito's vodka
1 oz apricot liqueur
1 oz natural unfiltered apple juice
1/2 oz cinnamon simple syrup
1 1/2 oz Reed's ginger beer
Combine all ingredients except ginger beer and shake well. Strain over fresh ice into a bucket glass. Top with ginger beer and lightly stir. Express oils from an orange peel and garnish, top with freshly-grated nutmeg.
To make cinnamon simple syrup, combine 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar and several cinnamon sticks in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely. Strain and bottle. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to a month.