Wake Me Up Before You Go Go …

The Sazerac

The Sazerac

In the 1500s, lead cups were commonly used to drink ale.The combination of alcoholic beverage and lead vessel would sometimes knock drinkers out for a couple of days, and these unfortunate souls would be taken for dead and prepared for burial!  A body  would be laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days, and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if the body would wake up – hence the custom of holding a wake.

People realized they had been burying people alive when some coffins were dug up and scratch marks were found inside, so to avoid this unfortunate mistake, a string would be tied to the wrist of the “corpse,” carried through the coffin and up through the ground, where it would be tied to a bell. It was actually someone’s job to sit out in the graveyard all night on the graveyard shift to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be saved by the bell or considered a dead ringer!
(Source: Miss Charming.com)
In the hopes of staying delightful when the weather is frightful, we offer these cocktails to wake your spirit during these cooler months:
This American classic is a superb sipping drink, with all the spices from the bitters and the lemon oil mingling with the peppery rye and interacting with the bitter anise of absinthe. Surprisingly easy drinking considering the lack of “mix.” This drink might ring your bell!
One sugar cube (two for a sweeter drink)
Three or four dashes Peychauds bitters
60ml rye whiskey (not Canadian blended whiskey)
Splash of Absinthe, Pernod or available pastis
Lemon peel for garnish
Take two rocks glasses and fill one with ice to chill for serving while preparing the drink in the other. In the bottom of the prep glass, muddle the sugar cube and bitters until the sugar has dissolved; a splash of water can speed this up.
Add the rye and several ice cubes, stir to chill. Toss the ice from serving glass and add the Absinthe. Swirl it around to coat the inside of the glass, pouring out any remaining liquid. Strain the chilled cocktail into the prepared glass and garnish by twisting lemon peel over the top and dropping in the drink.
* Note that the drink is made with 2 rocks glasses, a tradition born out of common sense at a time when bartenders did not have an array of tools and vessels.

** Adapted from “The Essential Cocktail” by Dale DeGroff.

Negroni No. 9
A modern take on this Italian classic, using a new super premium liqueur instead of sweet vermouth.
30ml Hendrick’s gin
30ml Campari
30ml Cloud No.9 liqueur
orange twist to garnish
2 red grapes to garnish
Combine liquid ingredients in a rocks glass. Fill with ice and stir gently to chill. Garnish with grapes on a cocktail pick and a large twist of orange.
** Rob Montgomery original
Buffalo Girls
The classic Polish combo of Bison Grass vodka and apple juice is a real delight (they probably know a thing or two about cold weather drinks!).  Not overly sweet and with just a hint a spice, this drink is comes to live with fresh passion fruit.
45ml Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka
60ml fresh apple juice or cider
Flesh and seeds from 1 whole fresh passion fruit
Edible flowers to garnish
Combine first three ingredients in boston glass, top with ice and shake well. Fine strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with edible flower.
** Rob Montgomery original
Keep mixing and shaking things up, and above all – stay thirsty!
Rob Montgomery, Bar Chef
, The Miller Tavern

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