For the last #FridayOldFashioned before Christmas, here is a Mince Pie Old Fashioned. Instead of using the Mince Pie Cognac for this one, here is a more versatile approach to mince pie flavouring: a mince pie syrup:
Warm 500ml water and 500g sugar in a pan over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
Add 200g of mincemeat, bring to the boil and then turn off the heat.
Allow the mixture to cool and then strain out the mincemeat. Bottle, refrigerate and use within two weeks.
For the Mince Pie Old Fashioned:
Add a teaspoon of mince pie syrup, three dashes of bitters and a barspoon of water to a mixing glass. Stir to dissolve.
Add two ice cubes and 30ml of whiskey and stir well (thirty times).
Repeat step two and then strain into a rocks glass and garnish with a mince pie (you can tell mine is homemade!)
Photo courtesy of Jason Swihart, some rights reserved.
The third Sunday of Advent is traditionally known as Gaudete Sunday, from the Latin for ‘rejoice’. I’m choosing to rejoice in a Corpse Reviver #1.
Now this is a drink that is a long way from its more popular cousin, #2: No citrus, no absinthe and instead, what is effectively a brandy-based Mannhattan with a Calvados twist and no time for bitters.
So there’s no call for bitters, and there’s no spritz of absinthe, so this leaves us with a seriously hard-hitting drink that’s going to punch the corpse back into life.
Believed to have been invented at The Ritz, Paris in the 1920s, Harry Craddock described this one as “to be taken before 11am, or whenever steam and energy are needed”, but, trust me, it is equally good later in the day:
Add 30ml mince pie Cognac, 3oml Calvados and 30ml sweet vermouth to a mixing glass with cubed ice.
If you’re like us here at House of Bourbon HQ, right now you’re spending Advent Sunday sat by the fire, basking in the glow of your Christmas tree, listening to some Christmas music and wrapping presents or Christmas shopping (depending on your level of organisation).
If so, you need just the right drink to celebrate having Christmas totally under control, and nothing says celebration quite like the Champagne Cocktail – especially given this festive twist. That’s right, this is the first of our Advent Sunday drinks making use of the mince pie cognac we made earlier this week:
Sploosh a dash of bitters on a sugar cube and drop into a chilled champagne flute.
Last year I put the decision between Christmas pudding or mince pie bourbon to a Twitter vote and Christmas Pudding Bourbon came out on top. It was tasty, super sweet and full of festive flavour.
This year then, it is the turn of the humble mince pie to be boozified. I’ve decided to infuse it into Cognac instead of bourbon and over the next four weeks I will use this to showcase four Christmas cocktail recipes.
As I suggested last year, the mince pie infusion is much easier to make, but in an attempt to help create a clearer, more easily filtered infusion, I have decided to follow a sous vide recipe.
Add 500ml of good quality Cognac and 200g of store-bought mincemeat to a ziplock bag. Expel all of the air and seal.
Heat the sealed bag at 45°c for one hour (see my Sous Vide Syrup recipe for my home sous vide technique).
Once the hour is up, place the sealed bag in the freezer overnight.
Next morning strain and filter the mix and bottle. Yum!
Photo courtesy of marcia.taylor, some rights reserved.
Today is Bastille Day, the annual French commemoration of the day that the gleeful decapitations of the upper classes began in 1789. As a result it may seem a little disingenuous to celebrate this uprising with a somewhat bourgeoise cocktail of brandy and absinthe, and of course the tower itself wasn’t created until some hundred years after the revolution, but it’s a great recipe with a French name, so bear with me.
1. Rinse a chilled champagne flute with absinthe and tilt until the inside is coated. Add a few ice cubes and set aside.
2. Add two and a half measures of XO cognac, half a measure of Cointreau and half a measure of Suze to a mixing glass.
3. Fill the mixing glass with ice and stir well.
4. Discard the ice and excess absinthe and strain the drink into flute. Garnish with a twist of lemon.