Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Brandy Crusta and "sweet" drinks

Every so often it occurs to (horrifies) me that most people don't fart around all day thinking about cocktails and mixology.

Last night for instance: I had just emerged from a three minute rage-blackout caused a customer returning a $12.00 cocktail that involved 6 different ingredients and flamed egg white in favour of a vodka with pineapple juice, because she had wanted "something sweet". 

I took a step back and reassured myself that this poor girl would look back on the error of her ways and laugh, but right now she just wanted a nice glass of juice that got her a little buzzed, her and her pals Cosmo Girl and Sour Appletini chick just not quite ready to step off the Malibu train and join the cool kids at mixology station, but that's okay.

Actually, it's more than okay, I'm beginning to see it as a huge opportunity, I need to identify those perfect "crossover" cocktails. The perfect breadcrumb trail of ingredients that can lead the novice imbiber from Apple Sourz to Campari in a few easy steps.

My first favorite is the Pisco Sour, which is an effective romancer of manys the tentative tippler, but some people just can't get over the whole egg white thing. So my next experiment will be with the 

Brandy Crusta (recipe plagarised almost directly from here)
1 ½ oz Brandy
¾ oz Grand Marnier
¾ oz fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz simple syrup
dash of maraschino liqueur
dash of Peychaud’s bitters
Shake and strain into a sugar-rimmed glass   
Garnish with spiral of lemon peel

I figure that the sugared rim alone is a huge size 13 foot in the door with most ladies, plus the garnish looks really sharp, and this recipe is a little sweeter than the old Jerry Thomas version, never mind the fact that the Peychaud's makes the drink PINK, so that's another sweet little crouton along the trail. 

I've been wrong before about what people want and the venerable ol' Hammy
isn't exactly a magnet for the more adventurous drinker...yet. Maybe high-fallutin pink drinks are the answer.


  1. I don't think the "bitter" genes kick in until one reashes their late 30's. I couldn't stand Campari 10 years ago. Now I have it plummed into my house. Go figure.

  2. Agreed Arne, but I think one can be eased into appreciating the bitter(s) world by effective mixology, I HOPE!!