|Carry on my Wayward Son, there'll be peace when you are done (with this drink) - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
I can blame/thank the TNT Network for showing reruns of Supernatural twice-daily for the last I-don't-know-how-many-years, for finally getting me snagged as a viewer. Which is ironic, since it's a CW series. It's been on almost 10 years, about the time when you feel obligated to show up to a high school reunion. A sizable unit of time measurement, to be sure. I honestly don't know why I didn't start watching Supernatural from the get-go, back in 2005 when it started. It had all the elements of a show I'd watch: a fringe group of people who hunt monsters and ghosts, each episode highlights some kind of weird creature that has roots in actual myth somewhere in the world, and it's all wrapped around the personal saga of two brothers whose family was torn apart by a demon, kicking off their sentimental saga known simply as "the family business." Also, it's probably one of the drunkest shows you'll ever see. The Winchester boys and their angel/demon buddies would give the ladies from Cougartown a run for their boozeahol money.
|The real star of Supernatural: Boozeahol - screencaps from the CW/Supernatural|
The world of ghosts, monsters, angels and demons can be exhausting, so I came up with a cocktail called The Wayward Son. Yes, based on the Kansas song, the same one that has become the unofficial anthem of Supernatural. The cocktail is whiskey-based, as it's the drink of choice (next to beer) that fights both external and internal demons. Much like the constant quarrel between good and evil, it's made with honey simple syrup and a dash of cayenne -- some sweet with heat. I add a float of Scotch as nod to badassery, as well as to a demon named Crowley, aka, The King of Hell. Because he fancies Scotch and it gives the drink a nice, smoky richness.
The Wayward Son
2 oz rye bourbon (Hunter's Helper)
1 oz honey simple syrup (1 part honey, melted into 1 part water over a stove, then cooled)
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 small pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 oz Scotch to float on finished drink
Take all ingredients except Scotch and place in a cocktail shaker with ice and stir until combined, about 10-15 seconds. Double-strain into a highball glass or mason jar (because it's cool) filled with ice. Carefully pour the Scotch over the finished drink and garnish with a curl of lemon peel. Drink, fight evil, repeat as necessary.
|The secrets to a good cocktail? Fresh citrus and homemade syrups - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
My new favorite homemade cocktail sweetener is vanilla simple syrup. I got the recipe from my friend Mark Sexauer's book, Aphrodisiacs With a Twist -- a must-get for your own home bar -- which is the same 1:1 ratio of water to sugar when making a simple syrup, but adding vanilla extract right at the end. Most recipes for simple syrups make a little under two cups' worth, so for that amount, a heaping tablespoon (or two, if you're a vanilla fiend like me) of good vanilla extract will be enough to give it that fragrant vanilla essence. You add it at the end, after the syrup is off the stove, so that the extract doesn't burn off, since it's alcohol based.
|The Double Helix, aka Drunk at the Mall, because it tastes like an Orange Julius - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
If you don't like the idea of using a fresh, raw egg white, you can use pasteurized whites or even the powdered egg white (just hydrate it with a little water and make sure it's fully dissolved). I have short T-Rex arms, so it takes me a good 40-50 seconds of vigorous shaking to get the foam to emulsify. Shaking a drink for a long-ass time gets you thinking about weird stuff like, man, a centrifuge would be totally boss right now. And hey, isn't a new episode of Helix on soon...?
|Genetic aberrations overthrowing your research facilities? Have a drink - images fr SyFy/Helix, photo by Wasabi Prime|
The Double Helix
2 oz gin
1 tablespoon of orange marmalade
1/2 oz vanilla simple syrup
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Angostura bitters to garnish
Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker full of ice. Seal VERY WELL and shake vigorously, like your life depends on it, for 40-50 seconds. Double strain into a martini glass or fancy science experiment-looking Bodum glass. Allow egg white foam to form along the top and add droplets of bitters to decorate into a delicate design. And if the design looks like hell, just say you totally meant for it look like a petrie dish.