I decided, on a whim, to try my hand at crafting a new cocktail yesterday. Although, really, who’s to say that this same combination hasn’t already been put together by someone else? Chances are it has, although chances are probably just as much that it didn’t catch on. Anyway, after a few missteps that resulted in too-sweet versions of the drink, I came up with this recipe that actually struck me as pretty darn good. I was listening to Led Zeppelin at the time, and used Black Maple Hill bourbon, so I came up with a name that played on those two factors. Unfortunately, with all the testing that went into getting this thing more or less right, I forgot to take a picture. It was kind of light brownish and opaque, if that helps.
2 oz. Black Maple Hill bourbon
1/2 oz. orange juice
1/2 tbsp. allspice dram
1/2 tbsp. Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
1 tsp. maraschino liqueur
2 dashes The Bitter Truth aromatic bitters
The orange juice and allspice dram complemented each other enormously well, and got along with the bourbon nicely, too. They also provided enough sweetness that no additional sweetener was necessary. Meanwhile, the vermouth, maraschino, and bitters added some savory bitter flavors to tone down the sweetness, and this brand of bitters, particularly, has some of the same sweet-spicy notes of the allspice dram, lending the whole drink a sort of allspice/cinnamon undertone that sits just beneath the dominant bourbon/orange taste. It would probably be a drink better suited to a cold winter’s night than a hot summer’s (ok, almost-summer’s) late afternoon, but it was nevertheless pretty enjoyable. Four livers.