Man, I love Halloween. We go rather over-the-top with our Halloweens here at the farmhouse...but that's not even my fault. Our little town goes nuts with the holiday and we just gotta keep up or die trying. It's as simple as that.
So. Cocktails. They are a must.
This cocktail was inspired by Mr. Edgar Allan Poe. I may not have a raven to quoth, but I got me a black chicken. And I intend to exploit her.
It is a common misconception that Poe was, how shall I put this? A dabbler in some of the drugs and some of the alcohols. That self-medicating may have contributed to his fantastical, macabre (I heart that word) stories and poetry. But in reality, that's most likely pretty far from the truth. Still, I felt compelled to create a drink in his honor.
It's Halloween, and this is Poe we're talking about, so this drink needed to be dark. I went with clove- and anise-infused black vodka, because...well, it's damned gorgeous and it looks like ink. Then a splash of absinthe, because again, it's commonly believed that Poe was an absinthe drinker. Which he probably wasn't. But still. I wanted it in the drink, and gossip is good enough for me. What Poe did confess to drinking at least a little of was cider. AND THAT'S SUPER EXCITING STUFF. So that had to be in the mix. Of course, his probably was the alcoholic kind--mine is not. But if you want to use the alcoholic kind, more power to ya. I knew I liked you.
Also, you should know I burned some stuff for this drink. Namely, star anise seeds. It just felt right to have some smokiness. Kinda sets the mood. Pairs well with a smoking jacket and some leather bound books.
3 oz. anise and clove-infused black vodka (see directions below)
.5 oz. absinthe
.5 oz. black strap molasses
1 oz. black tea
1 oz. organic spiced apple cider
2 star anise seeds
Infuse your black vodka by filling a pint-sized mason jar with the vodka, and place around ten whole cloves and three star anise seeds in it. Seal, and store in a cool, dark place for about a week. Strain the spices from the vodka,
To make your cocktail, start by smoking your glass with a star anise seed. Have your glass and a small plate handy. C A R E F U L L Y light the star anise on fire with a lighter--I held the seed with metal tongs. Let it burn for a few moments, blow it out, drop it on the plate and cover the smoking seed with your glass to trap the smoke.
Please don't burn down your house.
While that sits, add all your non-garnish ingredients to a cocktail shaker over ice (you will have already brewed your black tea strong, and let it cool). Shake until cold, then strain into your smoky glass. Now light your second star anise seed, let it burn for a few moments, blow it out, and garnish with it.
Quoth the Black Chicken, Nevermore.