The North Garden

We close Death & Company week with a cocktail that, on paper, scares the hypothetical caca out of me. A drink made up of three hard liquors, and when I read the names of three hard liquors and one of them is bourbon (facilitator of happy Rose) and one of the others of them is scotch (moody-bordering-on-surly Rose) and then there's simple syrup -- well, it makes me not trust the simple syrup, makes me paranoid that the simple syrup's lurking in there as some sort of sleight-of-hand trick with the scotch dodging behind it and getting away with murder, and I think this is not going to be a very productive Friday night.

Except I'm wrong on all counts. This is a lovely cocktail that begins with a note of apple crispness and ends with a tongue-tingling kicker of scotch, and in the middle it's got a big, warm, fat belly. I drink a lot of drinks, but I can't honestly recall the last time a drink had me wondering after just one, "Why am I in such a good mood? Nothing particularly awesome happened this week, right? Oh, wait, it is this cocktail what I'm drinking."

OK, I may not be wrong on the unproductive-Friday-night part. Have a good weekend, all!

The North Garden

(Adapted from Death & Co.)

2 ounces Busnel Fine Calvados

3/4 ounce Buffalo Trace Bourbon

1/2 ounce Dewar's

1/2 ounce simple syrup

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Lemon peel, for garnish

Stir all ingredients briskly with ice. Serve in cocktail glass and garnish with lemon twist.

Tasting Notes:

I deviated from Death & Co.'s recipe in a few significant ways, all of them because I didn't have the right ingredients at home. For those keeping score, I used calvados and Dewar's where Death & Co. respectively calls for Lairds Bonded Applejack and Laphroaig 10-year Scotch. Also, places like Death & Co. often list "demerara" on their menus. This is a fancier way of saying turbinado sugar, aka natural brown sugar (as opposed to the unnatural brown sugar I make in my kitchen by mixing molasses into refined granulated white sugar). I just use simple syrup whenever Death & Co. calls for demerara.

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The Collective

A fun perk of being a cocktail blogger is receiving tipsy texts from friends informing me of what they're drinking at that very moment. That's how I heard about The Collective, via a particular text that wound up kicking off an early-Friday, at-home happy hour for me, as it was sent by a teacher friend who starts a-drinkin' soon after the three o'clock bell.

As I've mentioned before, I've got issues with scotch. Besides the fact that I drank too much of it in my youth, I really never think about it for cocktails because, you know, why not bourbon? But the Collective's ingredients, as texted to me, seemed like something that my bartending acumen and my palate could handle. I love that its components are all non-fussy -- no need for a special trip to the liquor store, Other Friends Who Have Texted Or Otherwise Communicated With Me To Complain About Making Special Trips To The Liquor Store!

The Collective is smooth at the start and sour with a little friction on the finish. It's got a really nice body; my raw egg white seemed to enjoy being a part of this drink more than most, producing a lovely and long-lasting head (that's what she said). I highly recommend this one for novice and seasoned cocktailers alike.

The Collective

(Adapted from Ward III)

2 ounces Dewar's

3/4 ounces Stock sweet vermouth

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon honey water

About 1 tablespoon egg white

Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake with great vigor for about a minute. Strain into cocktail glass.

Tasting Notes:

Making honey water is totes easy. It's just equal parts honey and steaming-hot water mixed together (I used my little finger-sized whisk) for all of 10 seconds.

On my first attempt at this recipe, I used a whole ounce of lemon juice. It wasn't too much; it was just a bit more lemon-forward than I would prefer. However, if you are at all scotch-phobic, an extra bit of lemon might make a nice entree into this drink.

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The Godfather

Today is my husband's cousin's birthday. (Is a cousin-in-law a thing?)

You may remember Mark from his recent guest post, in which he espoused the white-trash down-home virtues of mixing Tennessee whiskey and cherry-flavored Juicy Juice.

This is what I made Mark for his birthday this year:

And this is what Mark will very likely be making for himself for his birthday this year, as it is one of his favorite cocktails. If you like the taste of marzipan, it may become one of your faves as well.

The Godfather

2 ounces Dewar's

1 ounce Disaronno

Combine ingredients in an ice-filled highball glass and stir briskly for a few seconds.

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