We made it to October and it is time for a little magic. I mean all the way around. I want some falling leaves, the smell of a campfire, cardigans, pumpkin spice mocha, puffy vests, girls in Uggs, the whole basic autumn package. I want full moons, black cats, random ghosts and a departure from the ghoulish behavior we have seen too much of this year. I want people to celebrate the equinox, I want Reese’s Pumpkin shaped Peanut Butter Cups, because those are the ultimate form of the peanut butter cup. This is not up for discussion. So, I am going to call on one of the old gods and do a little alchemy today, there will even be fire, you’re gonna love it. So, grab your best incarnating frock and join me now as we stand and make, Neptune’s Wrath.
I am pressed for time today, so let’s jump straight into the drink. Grab your tins and pop in 1 1/2 ounces of gin, I went with New Amsterdam; 1/4 ounce of absinthe, I used Corsair Red; 3/4 of an ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 3/4 of an ounce of simple syrup, 3/4 of an ounce of egg white or aquafaba and 2-3 drops of 18-21 Earl Grey Bitters. Add ice and shake well to the beat of “La Mer” try the Avalon Jazz Band version, it’s got the right feel. When your tins are good and chilled, strain from one to the other and discard the ice to go for a dry shake, at least to the end of the violin solo. Strain into some lovely antique mall special crystal and get ready for the fun part. While the drink separates and develops that lovely foam top from the egg white, add 1/4 ounce of green chartreuse to your jigger and light it on fire. That’s right this drink is en flambé! Once you have that awesome blue flame going in the jigger, pour it carefully, right into the center of the drink. Be careful, don’t burn down your kitchen, don’t spill it on yourself, it’s flaming alcohol it will burn anything it touches, oh and your jigger will heat up quickly, so don’t dawdle, but don’t dawdle carefully. Maybe having a firefighter or an extinguisher handy is a good idea, at least a bucket of wet sand or a withering stare, just in case. Go ahead and serve, because who needs garnish when there is fire?
This drink is wonderful. There is a lot going on but the herbal gin really plays well with the absinthe and the mouthfeel from the egg white is just lovely. The real hero here is the flaming chartreuse. I would set it on fire, just for fun and effect, but honestly, it caramelizes a bit as it burns and adds something to the drink I have never had before, it is still chartreuse, but richer, more concentrated in a way that accentuates the sweetness of this liqueur. I over made this drink, just in case, and had some left in a side glass, without the chartreuse and it was completely different, this drink calls on the god of the sea, but it needs the flames to bring it all together. Plus it looks really cool to pour fire.
This is a fairly recent addition to the cocktail scene but it feels older. It has a definite The Last Word feel, but with some lovely twists. It was created by Toby Maloney at Chicago’s Violet Hour way back in ’07 and it is something you should definitely make on your own. I am always a proponent of setting anything you are going to eat or drink on fire, I just like the dramatic flair that it adds. In some recipes, it is simply that, a dramatic effect, but here, it is necessary and wonderful. Just like you’d never make Bananas Foster without a little rum en flambé, this drink gets something extra from that little bit of caramelization and it is oh so worth it. Assuming you didn’t burn your house down or were horribly disfigured in the process, but if you were, ’tis the season for it, so celebrate with a little Nightmare on Elm Street or some Phantom of the Opera, your call. I’m not gonna judge. Stay safe, seriously, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.