Though all the crannies of the world we filled with elves and goblins, though we dared to build gods and their houses out of dark and light, and sow the seed of dragons, 'twas our right (used or misused). The right has not decayed. We make still by the law in which we're made.
— “Mythopoeia”, J.R.R. Tolkien
I read Derek Brown’s article in Table Matters “Bartenders, Stop Making (Up) Cocktails” today with a great deal of dismay. For under a great deal of flowery language and appeals to long dead psychoanalysts was a sense of utter, terrible defeat, and a denial of one of the greatest aspects of humanity.
His first sentence makes this evident, where he claims that “[a]mong the worst instincts known to man is that of creation.” I would hesitate to ask him what he thought the best instincts were. He proceeds to indict the entire craft cocktail movement and its practitioners, passing them off as places “where you can drink new cocktails made with quirky ingredients such as dehydrated carrots, yogurt and thai chiles. “
The root cause of this defeatist attitude? Once upon a time, Mr. Brown decided to make a warm version of the Cosmopolitan, and now that he’s had an appropriate amount of time to think about it, he now realizes that “Yes, it was terrible.”
I love Islay single malts, but to me the the butch Lagavulin 16 overpowers the flavors of the other ingredients.
Consider using either less, or try a moderately smoky/peaty single malt like the brilliant Talisker’s Distiller’s Edition or Caol Ila 12 year. PG
Spicy, textured but light, bright and sour. A+ whiskey sour
I much prefer the variation from Meat & Potatoes in Pittsburgh (don't know the bartender's name):
3/4 oz gin
3/4 oz elderflower
3/4 oz pink grapefruit
3/4 oz aperol
1 dsh peychaud's
Optional grapefruit twist for garnish
Lovely brunch cocktail.
Workable with half as much lemon juice (I used ~3/8 oz). The given recipe would likely be too sour (as an early comment noted) and dry when combined with the Cardamaro. As with many drier/acidic cocktails it improves (for my palate) as it warms somewhat, bringing other flavors forward. The wine base of the Cardamaro is masked by the lemon juice when very cold, a not uncommon problem I have noticed with lime/lemon/grapefruit juice drinks. I am rating my reduced lemon version as 3 out of 5, but something is missing that would elevate the drink.
Definitely leans bitter and dry. The amount of lime juice seems high, making this more of a sour/dry than I prefer even though I went a little skinny on the lime. I might try again with 1/2 oz lime juice.