Monday, October 17, 2011
Bourbon Bramble and Bradley's (sort of) Mojito's
We all have our idiosyncrasies, preferences and quirks. Some of them can be traced back to an old family story, or a vague memory. But, did you ever see one unfold in front of you and know that the child will be scarred for life (even if in a good way)?
Connie’s eldest, David, came for a surprise visit - well, a surprise for Connie. David had the idea and I happily joined in. Connie and I had an invitation to a party and I kept stalling and stalling, telling Connie that the onions that should've taken no more than 25-30 minutes to caramelize were just taking forever. He was being very patient and said it was ok to be late. Then, I thought Connie caught me when he saw the onions that I was supposedly sautéing were turned down almost all the way. I feigned amazement that I'd made such a mistake. He still had no clue. He lives in his own little world, but as he says, it’s OK, they know him there. Actually, I once found a notepad that said just that and bought it for him!
Anyway, a knock on the door and Connie was getting Annie her 7:00 treat so I went to the front door. David and I hushed Bradley and walked him down the front hall and sent him into the kitchen. Happy, happy happy! We all headed outside so David and I could run to the grocery. Grampy and Bradley chased around the car for awhile, Bradley giggling at the top of his lungs most of the time - well other than when he was trying to sneak up on Grampy. David and I were off to the grocery. While we were gone, Connie and Bradley proceeded to cause havoc in the house. We won't describe what was once my family room floor... Once we got back, it was time for a cocktail. Bradley was fascinated by the whole process and we'd given him the muddler to carry around. So, Connie decided Bradley needed one of his own.
He took Bradley out to the herb garden, showed him the mint, picked it, and brought him back inside. They put the mint in the cocktail shaker, added some simple syrup (2:1, as always) and Connie had Bradley muddle. Now, that was a photo I'm sorry to have missed!!! Cocktaill shaker on the floor, three-year old doubled up over it, muddling for dear life. They poured the mixture into a little pony glass and added some tonic water. Connie wanted to give it a kick, a flavor other than straight soda.
So, three or four trips to the garden and innumerable refills later, it was time for bed. At 9 AM the next morning Bradley finally woke Grampy up and his first question was, “Hey Grampy, can we go get more mint?” “No, not yet.” At least six times later there’s Bradley, picking mint leaves and showing them to Grampy, can we go make more of that drink?
They never did have more, however Connie sent him home with three or four big sprigs of mint. Bradley complained to his Dad that they don’t have the other stuff to make the drinks. Poor David had to promise Bradley that they could easily make the stuff.
Anyway, years from now, Bradley may have a Mojito, or something close to it, and remember, but not quite. It won’t ever taste the same as Grampy’s tonic water (with no liquor, of course) Mojito. He’ll vaguely wonder what is wrong and probably never figure it out. That is one of the roles of grandparents, to hopelessly mess up their grandchildren’s sense of taste! Mission accomplished!
So, what was the drink that precipitated all of this? A Bourbon Bramble. Since I couldn't really prepare for David's arrival other than figuring out what we were going to have, dinner wasn't ready. But, I had done some research and found some fall cocktails from Saveur. David loves to browse through our liquor cabinet and we love to indulge him with a fun drink. When we go visit them in Columbus, I always take at least one meal and often two. And, I typically come prepared with a new cocktail too.
What did we all think? Really good. This is a keeper and a make again. It's easy to put together and the flavors just really dance on your tongue. Next time, I'll buy some blackberries and make a festive skewer, but that's the only change I'd make.
1 oz bourbon
1 oz elderflower liqueur
1/2 oz creme de cassis
splash of lemon juice
Mix in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake, shake, shake until it's too cold to hold. Strain into rocks glasses filled with ice. We'd love to muddle a couple of raspberries into the drink too... Remember to kiss the one you love!