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Friday 13 December 2013

The Boy and His Poison Festive Double: The Brown Sugar Flip and The Damson Sour

I hope, like me, it may feel like there was barely a beat between that last late-August margarita and that cheeky early-December sip of port … but here's to you – the boozy dreamers, the relentlessly amazing party hosts. The lovely Ape and Bird is the inspiration behind these recipes. Having had a near death experience Christmas shopping at the weekend (if you think I'm using hyperbole, you weren't there), that boozy shrine took me in with welcome arms and a couple of hours later I'd forgotten about all my troubles and was happily mumbling to myself about brown sugar syrup.

COCKTAIL ONE: Brown Sugar Flip
You'll need: 

For the syrup:
  • 40g brown sugar
  • 50ml water
For the drink:
  • 50ml brown sugar syrup
  • 50ml bourbon or rye (even blended scotch is fine, but don't waste the single malt)
  • A dash of angostura bitters
  • 1 whole egg
Make it:

First make the syrup: 

  1. Drop your sugar into a small milk pan and turn the heat onto your gentlest setting and add the water. 
  2. Stir gently for 5-10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has begun to reduce.
  3. Decant to a small bottle and allow to cool. 
    Now the drink!:
    1. Add the syrup, bitters and bourbon to a shaker. 
    2. Break the whole egg into the shaker (and ignore the fact you're about to drink a whole egg - just trust it'll taste amazing)
    3. Dry shake the ingredients without ice for a few seconds until blended. 
    4. Then add some ice to the shaker and shake for another 5-10 seconds. 
    5. Strain into a small tumbler before grating nutmeg over the top of the glass (or just use a pinch of the ground stuff). 
    If that's not quite enough syrupy goodness for this festive period, let's move on to cocktail two...

    COCKTAIL TWO: The Damson Sour
    You'll need: 

    For the damson syrup:
    • 2 tbsp of damson jam
    • 50ml of water
    For the drink:
    • 50ml bourbon/whisky/brandy/gin/vodka - the spirit will change the character of the drink so my personal preference would be a bourbon. However, the versatility of this drink mends it lends itself to any spirit you have lurking around the house.
    • 50ml damson syrup
    • 50ml lemon juice
    • 1 egg white
    Make it!

    Your syrup: 
    1. Add the jam to the pan and (as you did to make the brown sugar syrup), turn the heat on to your gentlest setting and add the water.
    2. Stir gently for 5-10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has begun to reduce. 
    3. This time round, strain the mixture into a small bottle and allow to cool. 
    And the drink:
    1. Add the syrup, lemon juice, egg white and spirit to a shaker.
    2. Dry shake for 5-10 seconds before adding a handful of ice.
    3. Shake for a further 5-10 seconds before straining into a small martini glass.
    4. Watch all the strain of the festive period slip away...
    Wishing you a very merry little Christmas! 

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