Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Heaven Can Wait (The Divine Cocktail Ingredients)

**Spoiler alert**  **Spoiler alert**

This post is not for alcoholics, prohibitionists, or others opposed to the consumption of spirits.

My favorite cocktail--though it's one I would not drink on a regular basis even if I were so inclined, since it's a special occasion concoction--is what I call my Heaven Can Wait. It's a drink anyone can appreciate, especially the ladies, since it's divinely cool and elegant, without any whisper of harshness or potency. 

Here's the recipe:

2 shots of gin
1 shot of Galliano (a proprietary yellow Italian mixer which comes in a very tall bottle)
1 shot creme de cacao
1 1/2 shots of heavy cream

Shaken vigorously with crushed ice and served "up" in a deep chilled traditional cocktail glass.

The taste is indescribable. I've seen variations of this, but mine was an accidental discovery, made when I lacked an ingredient in another recipe. Which is often how good drink combinations are discovered. 

Great cocktails are basically constructed out of a "goods" (a standard alcoholic distillate, such as gin, rum, bourbon, whisky, etc.) to which is added various secondary "mixers" such as liqueurs, fruit juices or pieces, seasonings, etc. The art of the cocktail attained its first flowering during the Roaring Twenties (in the middle of Prohibition, so go figure). It's lately been undergoing a mini-Renaissance. For a few decades, fine wines were on the ascendancy; hard liquor was regarded as passe, and good bartending was becoming a lost art. But wine flavors are hard to replicate. Each barrel of wine tends towards specificity: I've tasted thousands of wines, almost none quite alike; for those who like certain grapes, sticking with Chardonnay, or Bordeaux, may seem superficially like a preference, but for anyone who takes very much of the stuff, it's always a crapshoot. It literally makes no sense to say "I like Pinots," because the range of difference among the various vintages and makers is so broad. It can be frustrating, trying to replicate a great wine experience--it's a once in a lifetime thing, unless you have the money to buy by the case, and buying good wine by lot can run you big-time.     


Lyrically speaking said...

I'm not a drinker, but you giving us an insight makes it mouthwatering, lol...thanks for sharing

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I just got back from county lickher store with a jug of "good" wine"

I could tell it was
the good stuff
it had a real
cork rather than aluminum
twist-of/on cap..

I had a mixed/fancy drink I am a divorced poet!

Steven Fama said...

You should probably add "the lactose intolerant" to your list of those for whom this particular post is not aimed.

Regardless of that, the heavy shot of heavy cream raises the question -- when do you drink this concoction?

By which I mean to ask, it doesn't seem suitable before dinner -- too heavy, too "sweet" with the creme de cacao. So it's post-meal, late in the night?

I'm all for experimentation, and this cocktail here may be okay (but I hope you use the clear creme de cacao, not the dark, as I gotta believe mixing the yellow of the Galliano and the brown of dark cacao is ugly as heck).

However, the greatest cocktail ever is the Negroni. Period.

Curtis Faville said...

Careful, SF, I'm a cocktail expert.

I've mixed over 2000 different concoctions, and I know my drinks!

The Negroni is okay, but the variations on it are a lot more interesting. Compari with orange juice is piquant. Try mixing dark vermouth with Compari, or dark vermouth, Compari and bourbon.

The Heaven Can Wait is probably a variation on the Brandy Alexander. You're right, who would use the dark cacao?--yuck.

Color doesn't bother me, though-- if you're going to mix with bourbon, you're stuck with mud some of the time.

Cocktails are best between 12:30 PM and 8 in the evening. I'm fairly sugar intolerant now, but I find that cocktails are much easier on my pancreas than soft drinks, which I gave up about 10 years ago.

If you want new mixes, refer to the Difford's Guide--written by a Brit who definitely knows his liquor.

hedera said...

Back in the days when I drank regularly, I never had much luck with cocktails. I drank beer or ale, when I could get good microbrews; otherwise I drank scotch or bourbon, of the best quality I could afford, straight up with an ice water chaser. I was convinced that the sugar in the mixers made the hangover worse the next day.

Curtis Faville said...

I've had great beers and ales--this seems to be the age of the micro- or custom brewery in America. When we grew up the suds came in hard steel cans, and tasted like piss. Pardon me, ladies.

Now, everyone can become a connoisseur.

The best scotches cost well into the hundreds per bottle, so that's a natural damper on anyone's habit. Bourbon's a little more reasonable, but I'm not sure it repays your investment. A couple of slugs of that stuff and it doesn't really matter.

I'm not sure sugar causes hangovers, but it might.

Good, cold water is a good chaser to alcoholic drinks, as well as ice cream. I try to put away 5-7 full tumblers a day, and I think it lubricates. Sort of like the European habit of a simple green salad after evening meals.