After Dinner Aggravation, Part 1

I hop in the Lyft I requested minutes ago. As I sit into the front seat bottles can be heard clanking and clinking. “How’s your day going,” the driver asks. To which I reply, “It’s about to get better. Heading to a friend’s to have some cocktails.” This is how most of my Lyft rides to Eric’s house start out. I tell the driver about what we’re up to and he’s instantly in, so I start the sell with the A-1 Pick-Me-Up recipe. Turns out he’s also a cook and loves the idea of the lemon and eggs. My spiel comes to a close as we arrive at Eric’s house. As I get out of the car the driver shuffles for a pen and paper, and asks for the website. The ride has given me a boost. I hope this positive vibe finds its way into the cocktails for the day.

We have a guest drinker for the day; Eric’s friend Jason is in town for the weekend. Jason is the friend that traded basketball shoes with Eric for a bottle of Lagavulin. Jason is a former college professor in literature who likes peaty scotches–now he is an administrator, but he still likes peaty scotches. The day is getting even better with another boozy scholar to give insightful thoughts on our impending libations.

I brought over a couple bottles of mocha stout I brewed for everybody to taste. Eric and Jason tell me they wrestled more than a few Black Scottish Cyclops last night so starting with a few beers is a good idea. Everyone is also quite hungry so we start with food as well; nothing like starting with a good base. Looking at the first recipe I wonder if tuna melts were a good idea.

Our first drink is the AFTER DINNER.

AFTER DINNER
1.5 oz. apricot brandy (Rothman and Winter Orchard Apricot)
1.5 oz. curaçao (Ferrand Dry Curaçao)
2 oz. lime juice

Combine with ice; shake. Strain. Add a twist of lime and ice. Drop in the peel.

This week we recorded our tasting notes so we could remember all of the good points. [We present these tasting notes in modified screenplay format, due to the cinematic (and tragicomic) nature of our session.]

Eric
It’s not as sour as we anticipated. I like it.
It tastes like a foamy daiquiri. That’s by far the
best drink we’ve had.

Brian
That’s a pretty good drink.

Eric
(to Jason)
Just so you know we’re after lowbrow tasting
notes here. You have to understand that every time
we’ve been doing this we’ve had nothing but horrible drinks.

Jason
That’s drinkable. That’s good.

Eric
If all of our drinks were this good I wouldn’t
be as depressed.

Jason
You drink a lot of these you’re going
to get heartburn.

Brian
Because of all the citrus.

Eric
It really comes on at the end.

Brian
The citrus? I get that right away. Then I get a little apricot
and it ends orangey.

Jason
I don’t pick up the apricot in that drink.

Eric
But if you knew what the apricot liqueur tasted
like you might pick it up. It’s definitely citrusy
but I wouldn’t change anything.

Brian
Right. Who knew?

Jason
Ten point scale? I’ll give it a 7 but because
I have no context. I’m basing it on cocktails
I like, not cocktails in the A section.

Eric
It’s like figure skating where you give it a 7
because you don’t know what’s coming next. But we
are finding that lately were giving a lot of 2s and 3s.

Jason
That’s like everybody doing a triple axel but
everyone has been falling. This is at least on pace.

Eric
It has the least amount of failure. This drink fails the least.

Jason
It’s a good summer drink. The ladies that like
white wine are going to like this one.

SCORES: Brian 8.5, Eric 8, Jason 7

Our next drink is the AFTER DINNER SPECIAL. This one uses the Swedish punsch we made earlier and the Cherry Heering (a cherry liqueur from Denmark). Naturally we have to do a little tasting. We start out with the punch, which we talked about last week—we still plan on buying some Kronan Swedish Punsch to see how close our homemade version compares but that will have to be another post. Now to taste the Cherry Heering.

Eric
Probably not meant to be drunk by itself but
you can get a taste of what it is.

Brian
This is better than the Swedish punsch.

Jason
I like it.

Eric
I like it too. I thought it was going to be more
cough syrupy and I’m not getting that.

Brian
Not like the sour cherry and Wild turkey infusion
I made. That’s super thick—it’s like Robitussin.

Eric
“What I’m getting here is Robitussin.”

Jason
Grind up some ibuprofen and some decongestant and
you’ve got your homemade Robitussin. The Cherry
Heering is a product of Sweden. [It is actually a
product of Denmark.]

Brian
The Swedes make some good stuff.

Eric
This is an unexpectedly Scandinavian event today.

Jason
There’s not a lot to do in the winter…

Eric
It gets dark at 2 P.M.

Brian
“Let’s make booze!”

I also brought over some kirschwasser (an eau de vie from cherry juice) to taste in comparison to the Cherry Heering.

Brian
Now this kirchwasser smells way boozier compared
to the Cherry Heering. This is booze right here.

Eric
I’m scared, Brian.

Brian
Whatever. It’s not as harsh as I thought it was
going to be.

Eric
You can smell the harshness. It’s not bad, but it’s not
going to be good in a cocktail.

Brian
That coating I had from the Cherry Heering is now gone
because this has burned it all away from my esophagus.
Am I supposed to taste cherry?

Eric
It’s just a mere suggestion of cherry. This is like
grappa or something.

Kirschwasser is usually served chilled, neat as an aperitif but some serve it after dinner as a digestif.

On to the AFTER DINNER SPECIAL.

AFTER DINNER SPECIAL
.75 oz. cherry brandy (Cherry Heering)
1.5 oz. Swedish Punsch (homemade)
1 oz. lime juice

Combine with ice; shake. Strain over ice.

Brian
It’s good. Lime and Cherry Heering. I can’t taste
the punsch. Not overpowering lime.

Jason
The bitter part is the punsch. This is a citrus bomb.

Brian
Ladies will like this one.

Jason
That’s a drink for a girl that’s seen a thing or two.

Eric
I don’t love it but it’s still better than anything we’ve had.
I don’t know how that is possible, but it is. The punsch is
so weird. What would you do to improve this cocktail?

Brian
I don’t think I would do anything. It’s just one of
those drinks.

Eric
It is what it is. Would you drink this again?

Brian
Maybe.

I’m not really sure why this is called the AFTER DINNER SPECIAL. Both of these “after dinner” drinks are not something I would generally have after dinner.

SCORES: Brian 6.5, Eric 5.5, Jason 6.5

On the Next Rituals: In Part 2 Brian, Eric, and Jason succumb to the Aggravation portion of the After Dinner Aggravation.



Brian Christie

About

Brian Christie envisions a future where all cocktails are made with natural ingredients and love, where hangovers don’t exist, and where everyone wants to experiment, explore, and enjoy life. As a grip/dolly grip, he’s worked on such shows as The O.C., Heroes, Iron Man 2, Gangster Squad, Horrible Bosses 2, Agents of Shield, and most recently Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. When not on set, he can be found traveling the world in search of new experiences and cocktails. His exploits include drinks in Los Angeles, Tokyo, Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Muskegon, Munich, Boise, Prague, Phoenix, Dublin, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Sydney, and most recently Edinburgh.


Always drink responsibly!