Monday, July 13, 2009

Alexander's Sister Cocktail

There was a time when I was deeply addicted to creamy cocktails. From White Russians to Nuts and Berries, B-52s to Brandy Alexanders, I drank them all; depending on how many I put down, I occasionally licked the glass. Basically, as long as a drink had the flavor and texture of melted ice cream spiked with Everclear, I was happy.

Not quite a girl-drink drunk, but close enough.

The inimitable Julie introduced me to my first grown-up creamy drink. A bar-poured B-52 can be truly beautiful: lovingly-balanced layers of Kahlua, Bailey's Irish Cream, and Grand Marnier line up in a glass, suggesting a smoggy sunset or perhaps the sienna-toned frames of cinematic memory. The color palette is pure Indiana Jones, and the flavor is a rich mix of rich and sweet. Yes indeed, a well-executed B-52 is a work of art.

Admittedly, most of our freshman year B-52s were a lot sloppier; in fact, I remember a couple of nights in which we basically put down glass after glass of a khaki-colored ooze that we surreptitiously poured from a convenient plastic flip-top container. While not quite as aesthetically pleasing as a properly executed B-52, they were easier to hide from the cops, should the need arise.

Maybe I'll learn to make a perfect B-52. Now THAT would be a useful skill.

While the B-52 occupies a special place in my heart, I chalk up my creamy drink love to bad childhood influences. When I was a rugrat, my father often took us out to eat at various military bases, where I soon learned a vital lesson: for all their culinary shortcomings, most Officers' clubs are able to put together a first-rate mint parfait. The layers of vanilla ice cream, interspersed with thick lashings of creme de menthe, were a delicious introduction to the world of booze.

The Alexander's Sister cocktail brings to mind the best aspects of those childhood parfaits. The relatively small amount of light cream translates into a drink that isn't quite as heavy as most creamy cocktails. It also isn't too complex, either. Basically, this is a nice ice-creamy concoction that is lightly minty, a bit more grown up, and extremely refreshing.

As a side note, the little sprinkle of nutmeg on top was nice, but could be easily substituted for chocolate shavings, a sprig of mint, or even a maraschino cherry.

Alexander's Sister Cocktail
(from Mr. Boston Official Bartender Guide

1 ounce dry gin
1 ounce creme de menthe (green)
1 ounce light cream

Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh-grated nutmeg on top

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