Rich Cocktails are real Christmas treat and a decadent way to imbibe. I find them delightful at the end of a delicious holiday evening. However, rich and decadent need not mean sweet and cloying– luxury can be mixed into the glass in many different ways. Modern bartenders have brought new levels of sophistication to this category of drink, though the concept has been around a long time. Eggs and cream were once added to drinks as a way to mask the quirks of the cheap booze served at some speakeasies. Flips and nogs come to mind, as does the Brandy Alexander. These are all wonderful choices for a rich holiday cocktail treat.
This Christmas however I am serving my guests an unexpected twist. I first the drink Campari Alexander on the menu at Bobby Heugel, Kevin Floyd, and Steve Flippo’s excellent Houston, Texas bar Anvil way back in 2009. I don’t know if it’s still on the menu, but the memory of it has lingered in my mind. It’s a smart combination– very much like deeply dark bittersweet chocolate. Similar to the Brandy Alexander, it has just three ingredients. So it’s easy to reproduce at home. Unlike the traditional version that features its ingredients in equal proportions, my taste testing told me that a 2:1:1 ratio brings out the bitter better. I’ve also finished my version with a light dusting of unsweetened cocoa powder which helps this drink taste just like dirt. Really good dirt.
Happy Holidays! GREG more »