Saturday, January 19, 2013

Mixology Monday LXIX: Fortified Wine - Madeira

Another fortified wine entry for Mixology Monday, this time with madeira. This recipe was a lucky find on the Mixilator, the always entertaining random cocktail generator, which I tweaked a shift towards the sweeter end of things.

Madeira is largely unknown these days, despite being one of the favorite drinks of the Founding Fathers (it was drunk both at the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution). Like many fine drinks, it was slain by Prohibition and never regained its rightful place in American drinking habits. However, it's a fabulous choice of wine, both because of its flavor and because its production methods make it one of the sturdiest wines around (bottles produced in the late 18th century are often not only drinkable but astoundingly good). While not common in cocktails, it can be found in a number of pre-Prohibtion tipples.

The Defalcating Honeymoon
2 oz madeira
0.75 oz Angostura bitters
0.5 oz rye whiskey
0.25 oz orgeat
0.5 tsp Green Chartreuse

Combine all ingredients, shake with ice for six seconds, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

The nose requires the drink to warm before opening up completely with notes of madeira, rye whiskey, and savory spices. The sip begins with subdued grape and almond sweetness, then subdued bitterness, more savory spices and herbs, leading to darker wine notes, and leaving with a final herbaceous and nutty puff.

This is a bit of an odd duck, with a fortified wine base, a lot of bitters, and Chartreuse. Yet it all manages to come together nicely. The original version didn't have orgeat, which I think is necessary to keeping all of the ingredients in harmony. As with other cocktails made with significant quantities of Angostura bitters, it also develops a lovely foam. While it took a few tries to get right, I'm quite happy with how this drink turned out.

Looking forward to all of the other Mixology Monday entries to come.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I've long heard that George Washington knew well how to suck down a glass of Madeira.