Hello to you from 2014. December has come to a smashing halt. And we have a lot to talk about.
We have Belgian waffles and a Buddhist-inspired dumpling soup to make. Plus room-silencing butterscotch pots de crème and a whole host of recipes that have yet to be discovered. Who knows what other bits 2014 will bring.
I had wanted to talk about cranberry-spiced muffins today. I had wanted to suggest if you squirreled away holiday berries you can repurpose them for a very fine breakfast. But since I ended 2013 like this, a recipe on leftover frugality seemed a little lacking in the festive department.
So I have frothy booze and a coupe glass for you instead.
I made a pair of these Sunday night to christen a dinner party Dave and I were about to prepare. Dave went on to make a regal lamb roast and clam spaghetti, and some very wonderful melty Italian broccoli. I served up some homemade quince marmalade and spelt sourdough as cheese companions, plus the aforementioned pots de crème.
The drinks were the first of many delicious things. So I thought it only fitting to feature them today. On day one.
This is an adaption of a recipe from Molly and Brandon, courtesy of Food52’s craft cocktail column. No matter what goes down in 2014, it’s comforting knowing these two are around to sling drink suggestions.
This one happens to involve raw egg whites, which sometimes scares people. All I can say is I lived to see 2014 and—if you are reading this you probably did too—so perhaps it’s time to take a walk on the wild side.
The cocktail is easy to make and easy to love. It is also easy to transform from brandy to whiskey-based, if your bar has a Pisco deficit. Whatever bitters you have will add additional drink flare; I enjoy Peychaud’s. If you have lemon and an egg, plus something distilled from grapes or grain and some sweet tree sap, you’re pretty much there.
It’s a silky cocktail, balanced by citrus and maple. The top turns bright white on you, once shaken and poured. You’ll then want to lightly pepper it with drops of Peychaud’s and swirl them with a toothpick. It helps if you have a dropper, but just wing it with a steady hand if you don’t. (As you can see, mine went rogue.) Either way you can’t really go wrong.
A baptism in bourbon may be just the thing this year.
Maple Bourbon Sour
1¾ ounces of bourbon
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce maple syrup, preferably grade B
1 egg white
8 drops Peychaud’s bitters
In a cocktail shaker, place the bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup, and egg white and dry shake it (meaning without ice) for about 20 to 30 seconds. Add ice and shake for another 30 seconds.
Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the drops of bitters and swirl with a toothpick.
Makes 1 cocktail
-The original recipe also notes you can try shaking with ice (avoiding a dry shake altogether) for as long as your hands can take the cold.
-Though I didn’t do this, you could try it with liquid egg whites. It’s about 2 tbsp egg white per cocktail.