Specialty Cocktails for "Major Barbara" and "And So We Walked"
April 24, 2018
Bar Supervisor (and resident mixologist) Melissa Larrabee introduces the specialty cocktails inspired by Major Barbara and And So We Walked.
I have been waiting all season to make a Pimm’s Punch for a cocktail and Major Barbara was the perfect show. Pimm was an oyster bar owner in the mid-1800s and came up with this “tonic” mixing gin, herbs and fruit as a digestif. I was first introduced to Pimm’s by my Welsh friend Helen. We were at a café in London and I kept seeing tables order this pitcher of what look like a cross between sangria and a mojito. When asked what is was, Helen simply said, “Have you never tried Pimm’s?!” She proceeded to bring me to her place making this concoction that Brits enjoy every summer. A Pimm’s concoction is traditionally made with lemonade and then you throw in fresh mint, sliced cucumber and strawberries. For my version, I booze it up a little adding a local touch of Crater Lake’s Gin and Crescendo’s Limoncello. It is garnished with slice of strawberry and cucumber. All the respectable people drink it.
This drink is a Greek version of a Sidecar. Even though the “Sidecar” cocktail wasn’t invented until 1922, motorcycle sidecars began appearing during the Major Barbara era and is something I imagine being a part of Undershaft’s factory. In the play, Dolly talks much of Dionysus and blames this Greek god for his night of intoxication. A Sidecar usually is made with Cognac, but to give it a Greek twist I use a Greek brandy called Metaxa 7 Stars. Metaxa was created in 1888 including ingredients of rose petals, anise and muscat wine, and the seven stars means it has aged for seven years. For the orange liqueur component of the cocktail, I use Crescendo’s Organic Arancello which is a great local alternative to Triple Sec. It is finished off with lemon juice and garnished with a sugared lemon.
|Money and Gunpowder
I imagined Undershaft drinking this cocktail in his library, smoking a cigar. Thinking of drinks from England, I knew there needed to be a tea based cocktail and thus came the idea of making an Earl Grey simple. Recently, I tried Crater Lake’s Rye Whiskey and I thought this would pair well with the bergamot oil in Earl Grey. Now a lot of people will drink their Earl Grey tea with milk and sugar, but another great way to enjoy it is with orange peel. This is where I got the idea to add in a little fresh squeeze mandarin juice. Punt e Mes, an Italian Vermouth that is both sweet and bitter, is added to give a Manhattan-feel to the drink. Then it is garnished with a dehydrated mandarin – dehydrated citrus fruit is the newest bartending trend to add the flavor of the zest without wasting most of the fruit.
I loved how Shaw repetitively used the word “infernal” as an adjective throughout the play and thought it would be fun to make an “infernal” cocktail! I wanted to do something red with a bite, and from this came the idea of doing a sort of cranberry mule. I used Wild Roots Cranberry Vodka because it tastes just like a cranberry – hardly any sweetness. For the lime part of the mule, I used Crescendo’s Organic Limecello and topped it off with Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew to give that small bite I was looking for. For fun, the garnish is a flower lime wheel.
|The Turtle and The Bear
In And So We Walked, DeLanna Studi tells of a dream about a bear carrying a man on his back and a turtle who collides into them. For the cocktail, I researched different Cherokee foods and flavors, and came across a recipe for Aniyunwiya Cake. The recipe had lot of the spices you find in Below Deck’s Spice Rum and called for pecans reminding me of the delicious Praline Pecan Liqueur we used earlier in the season. To add to the nutty flavor, I used Lustau Oloroso Sherry. A couple dashes of Agnostura Bitters is added to cut the sweetness and it is topped with soda water. It is garnished with a pecan half to represent the turtle and the rich brown color represents the bear.