It’s TIP day, isn’t it?
It isn’t that I forgot about it or anything, it’s just that time flies by at the end of the season. Today is hump-day, on the last week of Season 4 production. It’s a little crazy around here. Not terrible or anything. We’ve honestly got plenty of time to finish up the finale, but still. We’re trying to make it look insanely good for you. I think you’ll be impressed.
That said, I have some good news and some bad news when it comes to the TIP.
The bad news is that the only character to even hold an alcoholic beverage in this weeks episode is Malory, and she’s drinking scotch, of course. I’m not going to double dip in the same season, so we aren’t going to cover that.
The good news is that I have a plant… err, plant….PLAN!!!
(…also the next two episodes have more cocktails than you’ll know what to do with, so save some scratch and stock your bar.)
I spent a little time last night “experimenting” with my home bar and I came up with something that I feel is uniquely suited to this weeks episode, as well as to current events on the whole.
This week, ISIS travels to Vatican City. The episode was written well before Benedict even announced his resignation, and really was probably designed to be relevant just to Easter weekend and not to the papal torch-passing if you will. Thank god for small miracles.
I could give you the history of the inspiration for this drink, but I don’t have time.
I could give some history of the vatican, but I don’t have time…or interest.
So, instead I’m just going to give you a brief breakdown of how the idea came to be, and how the final result was achieved.
- Step 1) Be clever. My thought was to combine the two regions associated with new Pope: Italy and South America. The idea would likely to be to take two drinks that can be sampled from in order to have some ground work to start from.
- Step 2) Pick your inspiration. From Italy I decided to start with a Negroni. It’s an age old drink, bright red, bitter, and fruity, not unlike the Pope… wait. Then from the other side of the world, we have the Caipirinha. It’s primary ingredient, Cachaça, has been gaining traction in the U.S. and is much easier to find than it was several years ago. It has also gained it’s own distinct classification by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. It was once simply categorized as “Brazilian Rum” which if you’ve ever had it, is highly inaccurate.
- Step 3) Experiment. My idea initially started by trying to replace Gin for Cachaça in a Cardinale Cocktail. Thinking that a Cardinale from South America would be a great setup. So I made the drinks both ways: The original with gin, and a cachaça version next to it, to see if the new mixture could compete with the classic. The result of the Cardinale was a victory for the classic. A cardinale consists of Campari, dry gin, and dry vermouth, no garnish. The cachaça simply couldn’t replace the important sweetness and botanical qualities that the gin gives the drink. I tried masking that fact by adding a wedge of lime to both drinks. It improved them, but the classic still won. The cardinal was a bust.
- I next moved on to the negroni. Thinking that the sweet vermouth and orange garnish of this drink would help give the cachaça some back up in the sweetness department. It was an almost instant success. The gin definitely provides a cleaner and sweeter taste, but with a dash of simple syrup, the cachaça had no problem balancing into the cocktail.
- Step 4) Procrastinate on writing about the drink.
As you can see, I was successful on every single point of the process. It comes with years of practice and I don’t expect anyone else to be as good at procrastinating as me, but keep trying. You’ll get there. Maybe.
So, without further adu, here is:
- 2oz Cachaça (Prata, or silver)
- .75oz Sweet Vermouth
- .5oz Campari
- Dash of simple syrup (or sugar)
Mix all ingredients in mixing glass with ice and stir to combine. Strain into a lowball glass and garnish with a large orange peel (with as little of the white pith as possible, to expose the oils)
WARNING – ALERT – CAUTION – FUCKING – SERIOUSLY
Do you like Campari? Have you tried it? If the answer to either of those questions is no, then I highly suggest NOT buying these ingredients and making this drink. Campari is a VERY bitter acquired taste. On your first try, you will likely hate it. But like a strong IPA, it may grow on you in time. I love it now, but it almost turned my face inside out the first time I had it.
Spaghetti and meatballs!!! OM NOM NOM