Well December seems to have arrived and ended itself with only a slight rumbling from Reasonable Industries. Have I been dead? Or merely busy? Were the previous months of faithful updating a trick to get you to add yet another amateurish blog to a Feedly list already swollen with abandoned premises? Fear not, despite my external silence like a dormant volcano my fearsome brain has been relentlessly churning beneath the surface, waiting to unleash potent liquids on the unsuspecting Pompeiians of the cocktail world. "'Tis man's lot to wait, and the just man's to wait with trust, the unjust man's with fear".
The Mixology Monday theme, hosted by drinkstraightup.com , was Anise. Based on my experience trying to sell ouzo at the distillery, anise
seems to be a Love It Or Hate It spice. I am considerably ambivalent
about it, I don't loathe it but I am rarely excited by it (in liquor). I find its numbing flavor often insipid and domineering, the office boor shouting down its fellows. However, one of my absolute favorite drinks to have in the bathtub is the Absinthe Frappe, which is very cold sweetened absinthe.
...I'll be honest, for a long while inspiration failed to strike. I made a shrine to anise on the bar, anisettes huddled with absinthes, Aviation Gin looming over Peychauds, the 4 bottle gift pack of Raki samples in a jumbled pile. I prostrated myself before them, chewing anise seeds and waiting to receive some holy wisdom. Nothing. I used the coffee pot to make Star Anise hydrosol. I made Pernod sugar cubes. I consulted Maude Grieve (did you know aniseed is poisonous to pigeons?!). No fundamental truth about Anise revealed itself.
Then salvation arrived, as it so often does, in a box of cookies sent by my Nana. Pizzelle (which I had to look up to spell despite having eaten them for 28 years) are anise flavored cookies which my Nana makes by the gross every year. I always called them waffle cookies and eat them two at a time with a thick slice of ice cream in the middle (usually the vanilla carved out of a Neapolitan package). Once they arrived, all the pieces quickly tumbled into place, an excellent-yet-totally unreproducible drink sprang forth into the world, and I can return to my dormancy, Scotch & Yogurt in hand.
Beet, Anise, and Orange are a Flavor Bible approved taste combination which, although most often combined in a salad, work well in liquid form. Making beet juice is an option for getting beet into drinks, but I Don't have a decent juicer and Do always have Beet Port (sweet, fortified beet wine), Beet Bitters, or Beet Wine laying around some where.