Tonight, as I embark on a glorious 9-day-stretch of freedom from my day-job, I am working on both an old standby and a new creation. The old standby is the Brandy Alexander, and tonight's new creation is the Purple Haze. Both are creamy cocktails utilizing half-and-half. Although I tend to eschew the use of such indulgent ingredients in my day-to-day drinks, there is something about entering into the Holiday Season that almost grants me permission to throw my usual fat-conscious cautions to the wind.
Let's begin with the time-tested favorite--The Brandy Alexander
1 oz of Camus Cognac
1 oz creme de cacao
1 oz half-and-half
2 dashes Fee's Chocolate Bitters
Freshly grated nutmeg
Shake all ingredients over ice, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with nutmeg.
Although I initially started with Robert Hess' recipe that calls for 1/2 oz more of brandy, I discovered that the equal balance ratio that I found in Harry and Wynn's Barflies and Cocktails: 300 Recipes(1927) more to my liking. The addition of the chocolate bitters happened just because I have them and thought, "What the heck." And you know what, it works.
Moving on to my new creation for this evening--The Purple Haze
1 oz Absolut Los Angeles vodka [Acai, Acerola, Pomegranate & Blueberry]
1 oz half-and-half
1/2 oz Chambord
2 dashes of Fee Bros Chocolate Bitters
3 dashes of Fee Bros Old Fashioned Bitters
1 coffee bean
Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a dark cherry.
The inspiration for this cocktail was a co-worker mentioning her love of cocktails made with Chambord. I initially started this cocktail using Stoli Blakberi vodka, which gave the drink an odd, metallic taste. I found the Absolut LA worked much better in the drink and echoed the smooth, rich dark berry fruit flavors of the Chambord. I added the bitters to spice things up (literally and figuratively) and to add another dimension to the drink. And the coffee bean? I threw one it (locally roasted Kaldi's coffee to be exact) because I wanted to add a bit of a coffee oil note to the whole shebang.
Cheers! ~Dr. Cocktation
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