I tend to be a fiddler when it comes to cocktails, but it’s not that I pick up a stringed instrument after I’ve had a drink or two. What I mean is that I mix and taste and add a little more of this and then a little more of that and mix again and so on. That wasn’t the case this time though. I followed the instructions and actually really liked this just as it was with no fiddling necessary. This Boston Bog cocktail recipe came from the new book The American Cocktail from the editors of Imbibe magazine, and I received a review copy. It’s a great, little book that presents drinks from each region of the US. The West chapter includes Texas, and I was proud to see Austin’s own David Alan, the Tipsy Texan, mentioned along with his Loquacious cocktail made with loquats, Tito’s vodka, and Paula’s Texas Lemon. Many of the recipes include some specific, regionally-made products, but substitutions can always be made. For instance, one of the pages I bookmarked included the Big Bay Storm from the South chapter. It’s made with Gosling’s rum, Campari, and Cheerwine soda which is made in North Carolina. Here, another cherry cola could be used instead. I also want to try the O’Yahderhay which is a cocktail from Wisconsin made with brandy, vermouth, and a homemade syrup with the flavors from a kringle pastry popular in Racine. There’s also a Verde Maria, like a Bloody Mary, made with tequila and tomatillos, and a Stumptown Vanilla Flip with vanilla liqueur, espresso, and orange liqueur. There are a lot of fresh flavors in the cocktails in this book, and I’ve marked so many pages, I’ll be mixing my way through most of it.
With Thanksgiving on its way, I wanted to test a seasonally appropriate cocktail to be sure it would be a hit on Thursday. The Boston Bog is made with fresh cranberries and rum, and it sounded like the perfect option. For two cocktails, about 12 cranberries were muddled in a cocktail shaker. Then, three ounces of Appleton Estate Jamaican rum and an ounce of Rothman and Winter apricot liqueur were added. I made the ginger syrup in advance, and that involved dissolving Demerara sugar in simmering water and then adding chopped ginger. The mixture was pureed in a blender and then strained and chilled. One ounce of the ginger syrup was added to the shaker along with an ounce of lemon juice and some ice. It was shaken until well chilled and then double-strained into glasses. Each glass was garnished with a twist of orange peel.
The cranberries, apricot liqueur, ginger syrup, and lemon made a lovely combination, and I’m always a fan of rum. This was a serious kind of cocktail that should be offered in small portions, but the tart fruit flavors and sweet apricot and ginger syrup were well-balanced with the alcohol. So on Thursday, at some point after the parade and before carving the turkey, we’ll definitely being mixing more of these without changing a thing. Happy Thanksgiving!