Calamity’s Creative Mixology

Calamity Dawn

Calamity Dawn

Let me start out by saying that I am not real expert in the art of mixology. I kind of stumbled into the title; one might even say I drunkenly staggered into it. That being said, I have done a fair bit of research on the subject, and I’ve conducted numerous experiments in the field. I figure I must be doing it right as I’m told my drinks are yummy and when people talk about me it’s usually about my large baubles… of booze.

So, how do you get started in Creative Mixology? Easy-peasy, you start mixing stuff together. “The Kraken’s Delight,” probably my most widely known concoction, was invented back when I had no knowledge of what the heck I was doing. I just knew I wanted something to put in my flask, and I wanted it to be more than just plain rum (don’t get me wrong, I like my rum neat on occasion too). So I just started mixing stuff together and thus, “The Kraken’s Delight” was born. It was met with such a positive reaction I started playing around with the booze on my liquor shelf. I started reading up on the properties of alcohol. I recruited minions to help with taste testing, and to bounce ideas off. In fact, my Chief Minion (a gentleman by the name of Lord Dorian W. Bridges) is a newly minted bartender. Thus increased my expertise!

So, now enough about me, and let’s talk about YOU! Yes, you, there, holding that bottle of vodka and not quite sure what to do with it. Put the bottle down and back away slowly. Now go grab a mason jar with a nice tight lid. There, cut up some apples, any kind will do, put the apple chunks into the jar. Pick that vodka up and pour into the jar all the way to the base of the lid. Close the jar up tight and put it somewhere cool and shady. Now, leave it there a few days. Then go take a taste, if it isn’t apple-ley enough, let it sit a bit longer. Check every three or four days until it tastes good to you. Congratulations! You’ve just infused your first vodka! Easy, huh? You can do it with almost anything… Peanut Butter Cups come out a little weird, I warn you.

So, now you’ve got some Apple Vodka of your own. What should you do with it? Anything you want is my answer! If you like bourbon, well take that bourbon, your apple vodka and some grenadine and pour it over ice, give it a swirl… and there… you’ve the beginnings of a Charlie Tonic.

In other words, the best way, in my opinion, to tackle creative mixology is just to do it. Take the time to play with flavors you like. My “Weasely’s Revenge” came about because I found some gingerbread liquor and thought, “My, wouldn’t that be fun to fiddle with.” Nowadays I do approach things a little more “scientifically” I admit. I’ve learned a little about how heavier alcohols interact with lighter ones. I’ve learned about why you shake some drinks and stir others. I look about now for interesting ingredients to fool around with.

So, here are some basic tools you’ll need to get started with. Booze of course is a must. I recommend a good vodka, nothing super pricey but something you can drink straight. Rum, you’ll want a good plain rum; Bacardi Silver is an okay and relatively inexpensive brand, a spiced rum like Sailor Jerry’s, and a dark rum like The Kraken. (It’s not necessary to have all three kinds of rum, pick one you like and go with that. I have all three, but then I also have almost as much alcohol as a small bar.) Gin, if you like it. Some dry and sweet vermouth for martinis. Grenadine, lime juice and lemon juice. Bourbon and maybe a whiskey. Irish creams and Kahlua are also good to have on hand. With that you can entertain quite a few friends and come up with something interesting. Other things to have; a good shaker, a long thin spoon or something for stirring, and a jigger or two. I have two jiggers, one measures 1 oz and ½ oz. The other is a ¾ oz. and 1 ½ oz. jigger. Don’t worry about buying a bunch of fancy glasses. They’re fun but you can get away with serving pretty much anything in a tumbler.

So, armed with this new knowledge, go forth, my friends, and mix creatively! (Oh, and as a PSA: Drink responsibly, don’t drink and drive, and make sure to serve your creations maturely.)

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