I have been following Mixology Monday for a few months now. I love the creativity that emanates from this endeavour. When I decided to start my own cocktail blog, there was no doubt that I was going to participate in the fun of MxMo.
I am very happy that this month’s theme, “Standoffish”, is hosted by the first cocktail blog I ever read, Booze Nerds (for some reason it makes me feel more comfortable). Christa and Shaun invited us to create a cocktail that includes “at least one non-garnish ingredient that is not stirred or shaken with the others”. They also mention, in their introduction, that November, and the cold it brings along, is a great time to reintroduce stronger, heavier and richer liquors in our drinking habits.
As creamy and rich ingredients are not my cup of tea, I turned to strong spirits and bold flavours for inspiration. I wanted to use scotch as it is one of my favorite cold weather drink. I find the peaty smokiness of Islay scotches in particular to be like a warm blanket in a winter night.
I found at home a bottle of Pinnacle ice cider that I never opened, and decided to start from there. Ice cider (or ice apple wine) is a landmark of Quebec’s liquor industry and potentially the only good thing to come out of our awfully long and cold winters. It is mostly consumed as a desert wine as it is very sweet, thick and has an intense apple flavour. I wanted to try it in a cocktail to see how it would behave.
I decided to pair it with vodka (I used Quartz, a premium vodka from Quebec) to dilute the sweetness while adding a kick and without overpowering the cider.
Mon pays c’est l’hiver! (Ode to the Cold)
1 dash cardamom bitters
1.5 oz premium vodka
.5 oz ice cider
Stir and strain in a cocktail glass rinsed with your favorite Islay single malt scotch (I used Bowmore 12).
Garnish with an orange peel.
It is a strong cocktail with vodka an apple flavours. The cardamom and scotch come out in the end to counterbalance the sweetness of the ice cider and, coupled with the orange peel, bring a dry finish to the ensemble.
Best paired with a blanket, a warming fireplace and a good book! Enjoy!