This is going to be a disaster. Let’s just get that out of the way, right up front. This drink is by request of my dear friend, Leanne, who celebrates another trip around the sun on this day. She’s getting up in years, but still has a great outlook on life. It should be crystal clear, though, that this drink is entirely her fault. She sent me the recipe, supplied the ginger mead, asked me to make it and had a birthday to provide inspiration and guilt in equal measures, something she excels at. So without further delay, please join me as we stand and make, Out of the Chaos.
To the best of my dubious recollection, this is my first foray into the realm of mead cocktails. The recipe was created by Havoc, to feature their “Root of All Evil” ginger mead. I am a big fan of honey in general and mead in particular, but I usually just drink it straight from the skulls of my enemies. Who am I kidding, I don’t have enemies. Someday, I will get one of those sweet giant horns for my mead, till then I’ll just keep drinking it from the skulls of old friends, ethically harvested of course. I am a bit nervous about this, even though the ingredient list looks alright. I am not sure about the whole concept of dressing up your mead and, honestly, Leanne very rarely hands me something new to try that I am going to enjoy. She delights in the mild discomfort of others. It’s me, I am others. This may be an exception, she has turned me on to some very excellent things in the past, but I am dubious. Yes, I am dubious.
We are going to build this one in the glass, something we don’t do nearly enough. I am already kind of worried about this recipe, as it asks for splashes of this and dashes of that. Sure, it gives it an old world charm, but this is science, damn it, be precise and clear. There are lots of different definitions of splashes and dashes, with plenty of contradictory evidence supporting all of them. “For our purposes today we are going to do about 1/4 ounce for a splash and about 1/10th of an ounce for a dash.” he said, as if it mattered. Grab a Collins glass and station it here, by the owl. Why by the owl? “The owl is a time-honored emblem of knowledge and wisdom…” he murmured, distractedly. Into this vessel dispense 1 ounce each of vanilla rum and vodka, I was feeling cantankerous, so I chose Doctor Bird Jamaican Rum and Corsair Vanilla Vodka; a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice, a splash of apple juice, a dash of Peychaud’s Bitters and a dash of elderflower liqueur, so I went with St. Germain. Give that a quick stir, pop in some artisanal ice cubes and top with Havoc Mead’s “Root of All Evil” Ginger Mead. Garnish with an autumnal dehydrated apple slice and pop in a reusable straw.
Lower the lights and turn on some music before sampling this one. Since it’s her birthday and the official opening of the Halloween season, go with “Cry Little Sister“. Don’t fool around with any of the covers, go with the pure Gerard McMann original. Steel yourself and take a sip. Take a moment to process things. My god, what have we done? How could a drink have gone so wrongly? This drink is not for me. I am sure there is someone out there who will love it and hug it and squeeze it and call it George, but I am not that guy. I’d rather listen to Sigue Sigue Sputnik on repeat than have another sip. I’d rather grab a Dr. Pepper that I thought was Coke to wash away the taste of a secondhand Funyun, than have another drink of this one. Still, I must, for science. Yep, it is not getting better to me. To rule out variables, I tried the mead alone. There is the problem. It is not my thing…at all. The description from their website says, “We know that mead doesn’t have to be sweet. Neither does ginger…crisp and clean, starting dry with a smooth and spicy ginger finish.” It is all that and it is not for me. I also have the sneaking suspicion that she gave me a can that has gone off slightly. She would do that, just for spite.
This one was a bit of a conundrum for me, because I don’t want to be negative or throw something up here that I don’t think you should try, but this one is not for me. The mead is very dry and the drink carries that theme, for a very dry, lost in the alkaline desert for a week cocktail. Maybe that is part of my problem with it, my expectations. I assumed that a mead cocktail would have a sweet honey thing going on in the background. Looking at the ingredients it was clear that there really wasn’t enough apple juice in there to bring much sweetness, so the mead would have to do the heavy lifting. I get that this was what they were going for, it’s just not my style. You may love it, I hope you do. Honestly, I did not hate it, I ended up finishing it, dilution helped, but I did so with a certain amount of regret. Which seems about right. So, I’m not gonna recommend this one, unless super dry ginger is your thing and in that case just drink the mead straight from the whatever sort of skull you can put your hands on. Still, I don’t want to let Leanne down, with a bad drink on her special day, so call this one a twofer and get ready to mix one more drink.
Sorry, I don’t have a picture for this one, but it comes from a pre-digital age, thank goodness. First step is to find a bluff overlooking a river and crank up some Boogie Boys or INXS. This is another built drink, so get a 20 oz. bottle of Sundrop. If you don’t live in the south, I suppose an original Mountain Dew or something of that ilk will do, but it is just not the same. Take two or three big swigs from that bottle, or pour about a quarter of it out on the ground. With the vessel prepared, pour in about that much Canadian Mist whiskey, recap and swirl gently to mix. Reopen carefully, it is probably gonna end up on your hand anyway but don’t worry, getting sticky is just part of the authentic experience. Enjoy with friends, take in the stars, maybe discuss navigation options. Whether you go north or south, be sure to stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.