We’re always trying to expand our cocktail knowledge; last year, for instance, we spent the month of May making a different cocktail each day. This year, we wanted to try something different — we plan on creating some cocktails of our own, using each season as the inspiration.
The first season we tackled, naturally, was winter. Fox was interested in taking some of the things that she associates with winter — such as hard bare earth, the smoke from a fireplace — and use them to shape her cocktail. That was how we decided to make what we’re calling a Back to the Earth.
A Back to the Earth is a spin on the classic Blood and Sand, but with an earthier character. To that end, we decided to fiddle with proportions, up the smokiness, and replace the Cherry Heering with a homemade beet simple syrup.
Making beet simple syrup is, well, simple. All you have to do is slice two beets very thinly, exposing as much surface area as possible, and immerse the slices in a pan holding a 1:1 mixture of sugar and cold water (about 12 oz of each). Place the pan over heat and raise the temperature to a gentle boil; allow the beets to steep that way for about 5-7 minutes, or until the slices begin to feel the slightest bit tender. At that point, strain the liquid into a container, making sure to press on the beet slices with a spoon to extract any liquid within them. Once that mixture has cooled a bit, you’re ready to actually make the cocktail, like so:
Back to the Earth
3/4 oz Islay single malt scotch whisky
3/4 oz dry curaçao
3/4 oz rouge vermouth
1/2 oz beet simple syrup
1/4 oz non-Islay single malt Scotch whisky
Shake ingredients over ice, strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a generous slice of orange peel.