Back in October, you may recall, I hosted a cocktail naming contest. This provoked heavy competition – the readers of this blog are seriously talented in the arena of bestowing names. In addition to the eventual winner, there were several names that intrigued me to the point that I decided I would create cocktail to fit the moniker.
One such was the Edgar Allan Pomme. This name, suggested by my dear friend Nandi, appealed strongly to my love of wretched puns. For those not up on your high school literature and French classes, this is of course a play on the name of famous writer and ne’er-do-well Edgar Allan Poe, combined with the French word for apple. Unfortunately for the purposes of my contest, there was not one whit of apple-related anything in the cocktail that came to be known as Demeter’s Lament. The joke doesn’t really work without it, so I swore I’d create an apple-based concoction in its honor.
So! This cocktail would include apple. I toyed with the idea of applejack or some other apple brandy, but in the end decided to go with plain old sweet cider – having something non-alcoholic to start would give me more options, I felt. But what would really speak to the essence of Poe?
There are, after all, many rumors about the cause of his death and the controversial substances he may (or may not) have indulged in. I considered absinthe, though it’s likely that his use of it is a myth, or whiskey, which is less so. I pondered and pondered – and then it hit me. Amontillado!
Amontillado is a type of sherry – medium dark and on it’s own, not particularly sweet. It has a strong nutty flavor that I suspected would pair well with the cider, and even better, was featured prominently in a Poe short story, The Cask of Amontillado. You can read the full text by clicking the link, but the gist is that the nameless narrator, tired of being insulted by a gentleman named Fortunato, decides to take revenge by walling the inaccurately named fellow in the catacombs. The narrator’s lure to get Fortunato right where we wants him is none other than the titular cask.
Perfectly fitting for my drink! Sherry and cider alone seemed a bit dull, however, so I decided to add a bit of dark rum – a traditional cider accompaniment, a dash of bitters, and, rumor or no, an absinthe rinse. (Except, lacking absinthe, it’s actually a Pernod rinse, continuing the ambiguity.) I played with the proportions a bit, and settled on 1:1:1 cider, rum, sherry. You could probably bump the liquors up to 1.5 – this is a somewhat light drink – but I liked the way they melded this way. This is a lovely fall drink to serve at Thanksgiving, and the sherry on its own makes a perfect digestif!
1 oz sweet cider
1 oz Amontillado Sherry
1 oz Goslings Rum
2 dash Fee’s Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters
Pernod to rinse
Combine all ingredients except the Pernod in an ice-filled shaker. Shake well. Rinse a cocktail glass with Pernod and strain the contents of the shaker into the glass. Write tortured poetry and beware black birds.