Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Off the Grid: Wintery Mix

The nasty weather that started rolling across the South yesterday made it to Charleston around cocktail hour last night, and we decided to pay our respects with a drink. 

A Hot Toddy seemed too obvious, more of a way to avoid the storm than a way to recognize it, and the range of chilled drinks that we could make was limited by our lack of Rye and Sweet Vermouth (I knew we should have been stocking up on something while everyone was clearing the shelves of bread and milk!)

DP thought that something with Scotch would be appropriate, and after batting a few ideas around we turned to Brad Thomas Parsons' indispensable Bitters book

His recipe for a Rob Roy provided the right template, and we tweaked it with what we had on hand to create what we decided to call a...
Wintery Mix

2 parts Scotch
1 part Punt e Mes (excellent Sweet Vermouth alternative)
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Directions:

Stir with ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
It's a dark and smokey cocktail, bitter with just the right bit of sweet (Punt e Mes is growing on me). The hint of spice and herbs from the Angostura mixed well with the spritz of citrus oil from the twist, and we ended up with a well balanced drink.

Not a light drink, however. It was a cocktail to slow you down, to make you settle in for the night, to put you into a warm place and to make you comfortable.

Thank goodness! A warm place was what we needed last night. The blades on our heat pump were iced over by 9:00 pm, and we ended up turning it off in order to keep it from turning itself into something that sounded like an unbalanced washing machine.

Our down comforter kept us toasty until dawn, and a little warm water poured over the blades got the pump working again.

Not that things got warm inside the house anytime soon! 

And everything outside is covered in ice. I'm feeling sorry for the new growth on the Mutabilis, seen there on the right, but I'm told that encapsulation should keep it in good shape.

We'll see...

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