What to add to my Christmas Wish List?
My wife asked me to give her my Christmas wish list, and I always include liqueurs, bitters, amari, etc.
I currently have in my cabinet/fridge the usual assortment of base liquors everyone typically has, along with the following:
Mathilde Orange Liqueur
Hiram Walker Peach Brandy
Luxardo Apricot Brandy
Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
Rothman and Winter Creme de Violette
John D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum
Bitters (Angostura, Peychaud's, Fee's Orange, Regan's Orange, Angostura Orange)
Dry, Sweet and Blanc Vermouths
Obviously, I can make a wide range of classic/craft cocktails with the above, but I'd like to further expand my capabilities with the addition of a few key items. I've identified a few items that
So far, my list wish has apple brandy, sloe gin, creme de menthe, creme de cacao, Swedish Punsch, apricot liqueur and Curacao. Any other can't-live-without liqueurs or other cocktail ingredients I should add to my list?
What a coincidence you should mention Kümmel, because that's the one bottle already in my cabinet that I forgot to list. I bought it a year ago for a Russian-themed dinner party we had. I used several existing recipes and made up/adapted some of my own for the party featuring Kümmel. They all got very good reviews from the guests, but the one that got the most raves featured rye, Kummel, Fernet Branca, ginger beer and a homemade cayenne tincture. I have never tried a Silver Bullet, though. Thanks for the tip.
This was one of three our four drinks I made up for that party. The others were adapted versions of existing cocktails, generally substituting Kummel for Absinthe, and a homemade beet grenadine for regular grenadine or other liqueurs. This was the only drink I created from scratch with no existing drink recipe as a reference point.
1.5 oz rye
.75 oz Kummel
1-2 dashes cayenne tincture
splash fernet branca
build first four ingredients in a rocks glass filled with ice. Top with ginger beer
You may want to make it a tall drink if you want to have more ginger beer and less booze.
Cherry Heering? At the verybleast that's a Blood and Sand or a Singapore Sling.
I've never been disappointed by spice-heavy liqueurs, like falernum or allspice dram. I know falernum drinks are mostly out of season, but...allspice! That's Christmasy, right? (I put it in my egg nog >_>)
If you're going for a curacao, I can't recommend Pierre Ferrand dry curacao enough. It's the liqueur that helped me realize I actually like certain orange liqueur drinks.
Exactly what base spirits do you have? Some good ones:
- Lairds Apple Brandy BIB (a bit hard to find, rather than their applejack)
- A good mixing scotch of your taste, plus more for sipping if you like it
- A mixing cognac
- Mezcal if you like it
- Various Eau de Vie, if you like them (e.g. Pear William, Kirschwasser)
- Smith & Cross rum
- A good grassy white agricole rum
- I assume you have rye and bourbon covered
- Irish whiskey (Clontarf is good and reasonable)
- A pie-spiced amaro -- Ramazzotti, Averna, etc
- Clement Creole Shrubb
I would probably put most of these before CdC and CdM. Get good Sloe Gin (Plymouth, Bitter Truth, etc.) or nothing. But good clear curacao -- Pierre Ferrand Dry if you can find it, Senior if you can't. Nothing blue, orange, or cheap.
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Thanks, EvergreenDan. I knew you'd come through. Very good guess to assume I'd be fine on bourbon and rye, but lacking in Irish whiskey. Thanks for the brand recommendation. Clement Creole Shrub and Smith & Cross are now on my list, and I did indeed include Mescal, Black Grouse, Mezcal and Ramazzotti.