I was almost about to miss this month Mixology Monday.. I love contributing to this little yet ever-growing community, but recently my time has been devoted entirely to organize the imminent opening of my very own bar, slated for January. I thought I would have spent sleepless nights on creating menus, mixing up all my favourite ingredients, shopping for exotic bottles, instead I found myself waiting in a different line everyday, almost losing my personal battle against Italian burocracy. Finally, late this afternoon, the Notary placed the last signature on the contract, so the cocktail brainstorming can now begin. It will take a while but bit by bit I will post all the recipes from the menu and the seasonal specials.
So, after all of this burocracy, three weeks later, it’s time for me to get reacquainted with the fine art of mixing drinks, and no occasion is better than a new MxMo project.
The theme for this month was chosen by Nick, of the Straight up blog,: anise, a spice fit for this season. Here we got his announcement post. Please take some time in reading Nick’s posts, as he writes one of the classiest booze blog around.
Here’s what I came up with this time:
Dried orange slice, charred star anise.
Place all the ingredients except the bitters in a shaker, shake vigorously and strain over ice. Add bitters, and place garnishes, making sure that the charred star anise has cooled down a bit.
This is a relatively easy drink, not too many ingredients, but has a good balance to it, in my opinion.
I really wanted to play with mezcal, because I remembered how well absinthe, and therefore anise, sits with smoky spirits, and make a sort of sour, a refreshing and tart drink. I had to add Maraschino, just to make it more aromatic, to take away a bit of that smokiness otherwise it would have been too overpowering, and after tinkering with it, I found out that celery bitters were a perfect match, something that along with mezcal, brings the whole drink on the edge of savoury drinks. The aroma is dominated by the charred star anise, but you get hints of celery bitters and dried orange. I was pleased with the result, but in hindsight, I should have gone full out savoury. That said, the drink is pleasant, easy and refreshing, so for tonight it’s a winner.
Thanks to nick for hosting, also to Fred of cocktail virgin slut for keeping the community alive, and since this will likely be the last post of the year, Merry Xmas to everyone and Happy New Year, I wish everyone a joyfull and booozy holiday season! Salute!