.75oz Tawny Port
.5oz Templeton Rye
1 brspn Lapsang Souchong Demerara Syrup
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
6 drops Moroccan Bitters
“Everywhere we travel these days we see cocktails on the menu. And not just here in the USA, but all around the world. And that’s not only the drinks, but the ingredients as well. Nowadays when we look behind most bars we see spirits, liqueurs, aromatic wines, bitters, herbs, spices, tools and glassware from all corners of the globe. So let’s celebrate the global reach of cocktails with an “Intercontinental” Mixology Monday challenge. Create a cocktail with “ingredients” from at least 3, but preferably 4,5 or 6 continents. And if you can include Antarctica, then you get a Gold Star. And remember, sometimes the tools used, glassware, names or back stories of cocktails are important “ingredients”. Creativity and a bit of narrative exploration are encouraged. So if you have been waiting on buying that bottle of Japanese Scotch, Bundaberg rum from Australia, Pisco or Cachaca from South America or Madagascar vanilla, now may be the time to try them out….except for the Bundy…trust us on that. Have fun.”
The cool thing about this theme is that you can create any type of cocktail you want but the limiting factor is how many Continents you decide to go for. Not a big deal if you are trying to make something from 3 continents, but as you increase the number it obviously gets a bit tougher, unless you are willing to go crazy at the store. To make things easier, I started with a survey of my liquor cabinet. North America and Europe were easy, tons of options there. I definitely had some Asian supplies (whisky, sake, lapsang souchong demerara) as well as some South American items (Cachaca, Pisco, Angostura). The question was how to work in Africa, Australia and Antarctica?
I had a few ideas for Africa: wine (maybe a fortified one) or some sort of Rooibos infusion, but ultimately settled on The Bitter End Moroccan Bitters. Australia was a bit tougher as they aren’t really known for their liquor as far as I can tell. I didn’t feel like adding Fosters to my mixes so I took to the store and found a really tasty bottle of Tawny Port from our Aussie friends. Score! Now for Antarctica…. hmmm….. well lets just say its a good thing I import my ice from there daily, so no big deal. But seriously though, six out of seven ain’t bad.
I used my Australian limitation, port, to dictate the tone of the drink, and why not? Fall is a great time for port cocktails. So we had port and Moroccan Bitters. This sort of ruled out mixing with some of my South American favorites: Cachaca and Pisco. Luckily Angostura Bitters is from Trinidad, a small island off of South America (and a versatile ingredient indeed).
With Port, Angostura and Moroccan Bitters, I definitly felt like whiskey would be the best base for this one. At first I wanted to use Japanese Whisky, but Yamazaki didn’t jive well with the port. So back to America for the base. I tried it with a higher proof rye, like Rittenhouse, but ultimately liked it much better with a lower proof Rye, like Templeton (Old Overholt would also, but I like the flavor of Templeton in this one).
Since Yamazaki was out and sake just doesn’t seem like the right fit for this one, I turned to my Lapsang Souchong Demerara Syrup. Lapsang Souchong is a smoked Chinese tea that I made a smokey syrup with (Check out Smoke Signal and The Smoked Cocktail for more info). The smokey sweetness really worked great with the other ingredients.
Europe was easy pickings, but I went straight for my Cynar. Fernet, Averna or any multitude of other Amari would have worked great as well, but I liked the bitter sweet vegetal flavor of Cynar with the Port and bitters in this one.
To those who’ve tried The Bitter End’s excellent line of bitters, you know that they also pack a punch of heat as well. I didn’t want to turn this one into a fiery cocktail, but did want the cardamom laced flavor of their Moroccan Bitters. My favorite thing to do with The Bitter End’s bitters is put a few drops around the glass to build an awesome nose and flavor, but not overpower the drink with spice. The flavor actually comes through much stronger on the drink with less spice.
After some time in The Straight Up Science Lab, …and Antarctica was ready for prime time. This is a low booze, but heartily flavored cocktail that works as great before dinner as it does after. The nice thing about this one is that while incorporating six ingredients from six continents, its actually surprisingly simple and coherent. If you’re a fan of Beatnik, Earthen Infusion, “reverse” Manhattans (more vermouth than rye) or just a fan of great flavor in a light package, you owe it to yourself to try …and Antarctica.
- Mixology Monday LXXVIII Announcement: Intercontinental (putneyfarm.com)
- The Smoked Cocktail (drinkstraightup.com)
- Smoke Signal (drinkstraightup.com)
- A Bitter Note (boozyblog.com)
- Ask a Bartender: What’s Your Favorite Bitter Liqueur or Amaro? (drinks.seriouseats.com)
- Cynar Cocktail Contest & The Search for Delicious (meerkatproductsltd.typepad.com)