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!)
The second of my ‘around the world’ themed cocktails (see Strawberry Fields for an explanation) took in the pistachio trees of the Middle East, the lemon groves of Asia, the sugarcane plantations of the tropics and the corn fields of the American South with a nutty twist on the classic Whiskey Sour. This drink wasn’t as well suited to scaling up to pitcher size (you get a much better texture/mouthfeel from the egg white if you shake these individually), but the proportions below will suit any sized vessel:
Add a large (double) measure of bourbon, a measure of lemon juice, half a measure of pistachio syrup, half a measure of simple syrup, half a measure of egg white and a dash of bitters to a shaker.
Fill 2/3 full with ice and shake well for twenty seconds.
Strain the drink and dry shake (no ice) for a further ten seconds.
Strain into a rocks glass over ice and garnish with some ground pistachios or a cherry.
( Don’t be put off by the murky browny-green colour of this one, it is delicious!)
This recipe came to me via @thecocktailgeek. His enthusiasm for it was so palpable: “the best drink I’ve had all year” that not only did it convince me (an averred mulled wine avoider) to purchase a bottle of Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Christmas Mulled Cup and add it to pretty much every drink I made this month, it also drove me back into the arms of a trusty old favourite – the Vieux Carré.
A short #FridayOldFashioned post for the Friday before Christmas – traditionally a day when carnage is wreaked up and down the High Streets of Britain as office workers go wild with stick-on antlers and snowman deeley-boppers.
Personally I’d rather be at home in the warm in a reserved Christmas jumper enjoying a warming whiskey cocktail than out in an overly chintzy decorated chain pub downing lager or ‘draft’ mulled wine by the bucketload, so here’s a simple recipe if you’re of a similar mind:
Combine a barspoon of gingerbread syrup*, two ounces of whiskey and a sploosh of bitters in a mixing glass.
Add ice and stir well for sixty seconds.
Strain into a chilled old fashioned glass, over ice.
* You can make your own by adding ginger and cinnamon to a basic simple syrup recipe (follow Nigella’s recipe here) or use the pre-mixed Starbucks or Monin versions that are reasonably easy to find in the shops at this time of year.
Avid readers (hello mum!) will recall that last week we started infusing the guts of a Christmas pudding in some bourbon. One week on and the infusion was ready to be strained, filtered and decanted into a bottle:
Sieve the fruit from the bourbon and press down on the fruit to express as much liquid as possible.
Filter the syrupy liquid through coffee filter papers and store in a clean bottle.
This has a longer shelf life than its taste will require. In other words you will finish it before it spoils! My first pour with the finished bourbon was a Christmas Manhattan (I think I might have overdone it!):