The Birthday Cake Martini

Cherries

When I tended bar at The Royale Food & Spirits in St. Louis, floating in the ether inside that hallowed drinking hall was something called the Birthday Cake Shot. By "floating in the ether," I mean it was a concoction that wasn't in our top-secret, behind-the-bar recipe binder or on our official menu -- but it was on patrons' minds all the same, and many of them knew to ask for one on their (or their friends') birthdays. Hence, we tenders had to have the shot committed to memory.

Except I never quite did. Instead, I often and repeatedly annoyed my fellow bar employees by asking them to remind me what was in it. I resented the Birthday Cake Shot because I was there to make grown-up cocktails, goddamnit. The Birthday Cake Shot wasn't even a concoction so much as a contraption, because it was one of those where you had to do it by sucking on a slice of lemon at the finish, and maybe lick some sugar beforehand... again, I can't remember whatever particular gymnastics were involved. Also, there was Frangelico, and somehow the lemon and Frangelico wound up tasting like yellow cake mix when combined on the tongue. Anyway, you get the point -- it was one of those shots wherein its puerile overcomplications were taken as clever by the completely blotto.

So when it came time for me to include a Birthday Cake Martini in The Big Book of Martinis for Moms (because, hey, of course a book called The Big Book of Martinis for Moms has to have a birthday-cake martini; I may be a cocktail snob, but I'm not an idiot), I decided that we were gonna do it a little more grown-up-like. Because hey, like it or not, growing up is in fact what a birthday is about.

Now let's jump to today for a sec. There's another reason why I posted the Birthday Cake Martini today, besides just it's-the-last-day-of-the-week-of-blogging-cocktails-from-my-book-oh-you-haven't-heard-about-my-book-yet? Today's also the birthday of two of my favorite ladies/drinking companions. Hi, Michelle! Hi, Harley! Michelle also just gave birth, like, 10 days ago, so she definitely needs someone to buy her my bookA DRINK!

BirthdayCakeMartini

The Birthday Cake Martini

(From The Big Book of Martinis for Moms)

2 ounces cherry brandy

1 1/2 ounces dark creme de cacao

1/2 ounce Benedictine

Splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice (plus a little extra to sticky up the rim of your martini glass)

Confection's sugar, rainbow sprinkles and maraschino cherry for garnish

First, dunk the rim of your martini glass into a saucer of lemon juice to get the lip sticky. Then dunk it in a second saucer of confection's sugar. Set aside. Next, combine brandy, creme de cacao, Benedictine and lemon juice in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds. Carefully strain into your martini glass. Finish off with a maraschino cherry that you've rolled around in some sprinkles.

The House Hippy

Guest post by Mark Holcomb, the Blogtender's cousin-in-law/former professional bartender/lead singer of The Sharpe James

I was raised by hippies… they were probably considered ex-hippies by the time the '80s rolled around, but they were hippies nonetheless. My mother (who is a saint of a woman!) is the type of lady the who used to tote me around as an infant in one of those baby backpack-papoose contraptions, and who shed a tear or two when Jerry Garcia died. As for my father, well, he looks like Willie Nelson. Love him as I do there is no denying his hippydom. Unless you're him, that is; he vehemently refutes this label for the sole reason that "hippies are too peaceful." However, he is the same bass-playing, ponytail-rocking, bandana-wearing, beard-having, hitch-hiking Okie who once thought a good name for his firstborn son (that's me) would be Thud Blues Holcomb. I only thank the sweet  Lord Jesus that my momma had enough sense to name me after my grandfathers instead.

aahhh, Red #40...

As you might imagine, having been brought up in this type of environment, my brothers and I were, to put it nicely, free-spirited individualists at a very early age. To paint a clearer picture of what that means exactly, I will say without a doubt that the term "driving me to drink" was coined for rugrats such as ourselves. While our wild behavior may have spawned many great discoveries, by far the grandest of them all is when my dear ol' dad stumbled across what in my mind is a testament to the spirit of American ingenuity, and parental decorum.

My father's philosophy dictated some unbendable rules. One such rule is that "only a bastard would drink whiskey straight while his wife is at her part-time job." On certain occasions abiding by this rule translates to grabbing whatever "mixer" is in the fridge and throwing some sour mash in it. This is how The House Hippy was born.

The recipe is simple. It is just two ingredients. (I noticed they've been getting fa-fa-fa-fancy up on this blog lately, but don't be fooled; the Ghetto Fabulous cocktail from a few weeks ago reigns supreme).

Why is this drink so good in my eyes? Well for one, cherry juice and Jack Daniels complement each other perfectly. No, really, the flavors of oak and cherry go together like free love and illegitimate children, that's scientifically proven. Secondly, it beckons to a simpler time when a man could get half buzzed at 3 o'clock in the afternoon and still get 100% of his vitamin C in one sitting.

So to all the dads out there who are stuck at home with the kids I say: Don't be scared to get the party started early, it's American. Just please don't do anything extravagant like decide it's time for haircuts, or help your children with their homework, until you've sobered up a touch. If you heed that simple warning everything will work out great. My brothers and me turned out OK so drank up!

The House Hippy

1 part Jack Daniels

2 parts Cherry Juicy-Juice

One or two ice cubes

 

 

 

Tasting Notes:

If you really want to drink it in its classic form, the only proper serving vessel is undoubtedly an old jelly jar that has seen enough PB&Js to be rinsed out and used as a glass.

 

 

 

4 Comments
Print Friendly and PDF