Next up is the ALICE COCKTAIL, which uses our hard-earned bottle of kümmel. Punch magazine has a nice write-up of new things people are doing with this old spirit, but we aren’t doing anything particularly modern, of course, so never mind about that. Redbird in Los Angeles does an Alice, Mine cocktail which also uses equal parts sweet vermouth and kümmel with a dash or two of Scotch, but I’m sure when they put their fairy dust in there it becomes fifty times as good as what we experience in Brian’s kitchen. But as far as I can tell the Alice, Mine and the Alice Cocktail are the same thing.
.75 oz. Italian vermouth (Carpano Antica)
.75 oz. Russian kümmel (Combier)
1 dash Scotch whiskey (Famous Grouse)
Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain, and serve.
Eric: (sniffs) It smells great!
Brian: It does smell good. But, man, cumin!
Eric: I love it. It’s savory.
Brian: You’re probably going to like this drink then.
Eric: (drinks) That’s bizarre. Kümmel is confusing, isn’t it? I’m confused by it.
Brian: I’m trying to figure out where that dash of scotch is. Where is it? Where is that dash of scotch?
Eric: Does it need more scotch?
Brian: Isn’t that the question in life? Does it need more scotch? I don’t know.
Eric: I can’t taste it. What is it supposed to be doing?
Brian adds the tiniest bit of scotch to the cocktail.
Brian: Wow, that actually took away flavor. It neutralized the Antica. It still reeks of cumin, however. The cumin will not be denied.
Eric: I’m going to downgrade it after that scotch. I’m going to say it’s a 5.
SCORES: Eric 5, Brian 5.
More disappointment. I was excited about the Alice Cocktail because it had the elusive potential to be both weird and good, like performance art. Like most performance art, however, this drink left me with an unsatisfied empty feeling that will linger in the core of my being until it is replaced by something else, perhaps tacos.