I couldn’t wait for this heatwave to start. Really. All year long I’ve wanted to sweat. That deep down burn that flows through my body. Sweat flowing from my brow into my eyes, my back soaked on the leather seats of my car. Yeah, you know what I’m “talking” about. A real summer heat wave. You cannot escape. It’s everywhere. An egg could be fried on the sidewalk- that kind of heat.
Fortunately I’m here to cool off your frazzled demeanor. What is that look on your face? You don’t believe me?
My good friends you are in luck. I’ve created at this hour of 9:56 am on Thursday a most beguiling of cocktails. One that will, as I like to put it, mystify and challenge even the most robust of imbibers. This one my friends garners a 5 out of 5. Danger Level 5. I’m getting numb just smelling it.
The ice is as important as the rest of the cocktail. I recommend spending about 12 bucks on a silicone ice cube tray from Williams-Sonoma. True there are dozens of other items for sale in the store that I lust over, but for this cocktail, I need a large ice cube that melts- very, very slowly. Ice is one of my favorite topics.
I’m a fan of liquors from the Near East. I mean Greece and Turkey. Raki in Turkey, Ouzo in Greece…
The Moors enjoyed liqueurs and preparations that used anise seeds. In their attempted conquest of the world, the liquors that they enjoyed in turn influenced others cultures and peoples in the world. Hence you find Raki in Turkey, Ouzo in Greece, Pastis in France and… Aquavit from the Scandinavian countries. But what does Aquavit have to do with anise? Is it because anise is a seed and caraway is a seed as well? Sure, it’s a stretch, but in flavor transmittal, a stretch is fantastic.. Anise and Caraway just work together.
Another hidden ingredient, at least in the Near East is Rose Water. The essence of roses can be quite sensual. They stimulate the feelings of eroticism. I love rose in a cocktail, especially the rose simple syrup from Royal Rose. I’ve fallen hard for their syrups, but for the summer- in my opinion, nothing goes better with Tenneyson Absinthe than rose syrup.
Blueberries from Driscoll’s. Organically grown are the base for my cocktail. I’ve taken these absolutely ravishing blueberries and muddled them with some of the Royal Rose simple syrup of roses until they stain the side of the mixing glass with their juices. The aroma of blue along with rose is intoxicating to say the least.
Tenneyson Absinthe, made in France with care is clear as a glass window in the perfume grade, cut glass bottle. But add some seltzer water and the formerly pristine color takes on a shade of cream and blue fruits. The Aquavit from House Spirits in Portland, Oregon is a hidden Umami flavor. You sense it. It’s there.. but soon, very soon you will feel no pain at all.
It’s now 10:32 am. The air is brisk but steadily heating up. Soon the leaves outside will begin to wilt. It’s a true heat wave. I cannot wait to sip this cocktail in the blaze of the summer heat.
You will crave one too. Crave is not even the word I seek. Yearn is better. Hunger. Thirst.
Bitters should finish this cocktail. A punch of depth to center that little third eye in the middle of your forehead. Why the third eye? So you can see. Because with your eyes closed (and they will be soon) you’ll need some way to guide you on your spiritual path to enlightenment. My friend Bill York at Bitter End Bitters makes a perfectly respectable Moroccan Bitters. Woven with the flavors of the Middle East, this salubrious squirt of bitters it more than able to stand up to the task of binding the Absinthe to the Aquavit.
A splash of seltzer water will finish. And keep you from walking into doors.
One cocktail at a time. By my patient hand. Cheers and stay cool if you are able.
Meaning beautiful in Turkish
(with a generous nod of my hat to Joy E. Stocke from the Wild River Review)
Driscoll’s Blueberries- they’re really the best we can get outside of Maine…
Bitter End Bitters
Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Roses
In a cocktail shaker, muddle about 1/4 cup of the Driscoll Blueberries with 2 Tablespoons of Royal Rose simple syrup of Rose until the aroma rises up in the cup, about 10 seconds
Add 1 Shot of Tenneyson Absinthe
Add 1/2 Shot of Krogstad Aquavit
Add four drops of the Bitter End Moroccan Bitters
Shake for exactly 15 seconds and pour into a lovely hand blown rocks glass where 2 LARGE ice cubes are resting, patiently… Add a splash of cooling seltzer and dream.