Last Christmas I gave my husband The American Cocktail by the editors of Imbibe Magazine (Chronicle Books, 2011). (It also came with the implicit promise that I’d be making him cocktails from the book. In our household, he tends to do more of the cooking while I mix up the drinks!)
It’s an awesome cocktail book – we haven’t gotten to all the cocktails yet, but every one we’ve tried so far has been delicious. My recent fave is called “Boston Bog,” a recipe from Boston bartender Misty Kalkofen.
I didn’t quite have *exactly* the ingredients called for in the recipe, so what follows is a variation based on what I had in my kitchen & liquor cabinet.
In addition to cranberries and ginger syrup (both of which I had/could make), the original recipe calls for Appleton Estate Reserve Jamaica rum, fresh lemon juice, and Rothman & Winter apricot liqueur. I substituted my favorite 7-year old rum, pre-squeezed lemon juice (though it is better with fresh lemons – since I used bottled juice this time, I reduced the amount originally called for in the recipe), and Cointreau (less than the amount of apricot liqueur called for – the Cointreau also helped temper the acidity of the bottled lemon juice). If you want the original recipe, check out The American Cocktail!
6 fresh cranberries (+ 1 for garnish)
1 1/2 oz aged or reserve rum
1/2 oz ginger syrup
2 tsp lemon juice (or 1/2 oz if using fresh lemons)
2 tsp Cointreau
To make the ginger syrup: combine 1 part water and 1 part sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat & let cool. Combine with 1 part diced ginger in a food processor or blender and purée. Strain.
Muddle the cranberries in a cocktail shaker. Add the rum, ginger syrup, lemon juice, and Cointreau. Shake well with ice. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a fresh cranberry.
For the record, the ginger syrup is definitely worth making. I’ve made ginger syrup in the past by just simmering the simple syrup mixture with sliced ginger – but this method of blending in the ginger and then straining it makes it so much richer!
Tip: If you’re like me & don’t have a proper bartender’s fine-mesh strainer, a tea ball works beautifully! And the wooden end of a spatula or wooden spoon doubles up nicely as a muddler.
Do you have a favorite cocktail recipe?