It is before noon but I was up early enough to justify a drink. Contrary to popular belief I don’t keep a lot of booze in the house. I mainly keep around obscure Italian amaros, eau-de-vie, and of course lots of projects. You’d be hard pressed to find a lemon unless I really premeditated a drink so all of the cocktails consumed around the house are subject to a lot of ingenuity.
This is much like the artistic constraint of my favorite cocktail book. Henry Lyman’s Collections and Creations. The book is a prohibition memoir of a New Englander with an exceptional sense of humor which is reflected in his drinks. I highly recommend checking it out.
My favorite cocktail from Collections and creations:
Charlie d’ Almee (in a pint tin mug)
strawberry syrup, quite a lot
brandy (better not fill it entirely full)
“this is inserted, not because it is good, but because it was all we could get in Dannes-Camieres, and also for historical interest– it saved the life of a distinguished and beloved physician”
So this morning I found my self in similar circumstances and all I could get was:
1.5 St. James ambre (end of the bottle)
1 oz. super tart dry vermouth project (no lemons)
1 oz. chamberryzette (some one’s gotta drink it)
2 dashes peychaud’s bitters
2 dashes “bee sting bitters” (stinging nettle tincture) *watch out for allergies!
This cocktail turned out quite good. Next to Alpenz co.’s Batavia Arrack Van Oosten, St. James is my favorite spirit. I heard Cointreau sold it and I haven’t heard who picked it up so I may be drinking old imported stock. Luckily I’m the only one I know that drinks it, but that means some day my circumstances may be even more pathetic. At least I’m lucky that I may never have to buy a lemon again because I like my enhanced dry vermouth so much. And the flavor contrast between the Chamberzette and the rum was really quite stunning and could save lives and end wars. My bee sting bitters are really quite wonderful. My lips already feel fuller and my arthritis is clearing up. They add new subliminal sensations to a drink, but I guess I have to save them for myself so I don’t accidentally kill someone with allergies.