Have to love presents, especially those that come as a complete surprise.
One of those arrived yesterday from Mr. Todd Leopold himself, that present being Navy Strength American Gin from Leopold Brothers distillery. I immediately tasted, absolute flavor explosion- herbs, botanicals, tons of citrus, then the inside of my mouth went numb.
Navy strength equals 114 proof.
What to do with this bomb of booze? Thinking, thinking, thinking, A HA! Start where any regular person, at least those that were alive 80 years ago, would start. Sweeten it up, add some juice, drink it down. Of course, I had to add beer as well. Just can’t seem to make a cocktail without it lately, probably because there is always great beer at hand. That beer is Salvation from Avery. Big Belgian sweetness and dryness was the perfect compliment to the Gin and the other booze. By the way, this would make a great punch.
As a small child I watched my Great Grandparents sip highballs during the holidays, and it sure seemed to make them happy. Not too much, just enough to add a rosy glow and some holiday cheer. This cocktail is inspired by just that!
Simple. Straightforward. Not fussy, not complicated, and definitely delivers the desired result. In spades.
Amaro can be one of those “acquired” taste kinds of things. Really? What the hell do people mean by that. Think Jagermeister’s more civilized Italian uncle, who will still make you drop your pants given the correct setting. Personally, I am a firm believer in there should be no middle ground. Love it or hate it, “ok” is not acceptable. Don’t think anyone really comes to truly enjoy “ok. ” I love it, especially the deeply bitter, slightly savory, a little dirty, and surprisingly minty versions.
The biggest flavors work best in this, shoot for the dark side of the moon. Pick out the biggest and most aggressive IPA, or other super hopped beer, you can find. Grab a bottle of some kind of Amaro, look around, experiment, Fernet Branca is always a good go to.