Another Mixology Monday has rolled around. Margarett has previously suggested that my Mixology Monday posts are among the weakest I've cobbled together, by which she means the least glowing gems in a vast treasury of splendors. While this might seem unduly harsh, I recently told Margarett that the cabbage soup she prepared for dinner (after working a 9-hour day, most of which I'd spent idling in the bathtub) was unfit for P.O.W.s and that I was prepared to sue if it ever blighted our dinner table again. I feel Honesty is critical to relationships and also to not getting fed cabbage soup that you hate.
Anyways, after my homage to the world's greatest Taiwanese Distilled Cooking Spirit was 'mistakenly' left out of the roundup for Highballs (possibly due to my inflammatory opinions on Southerners) I sulkily absented from February's theme of Sours (i.e. was busy working 50 hours a week making alcohol). This month's theme of 'Preserves' hosted at 'A World of Drinks' was more difficult to resist, as through a masterful feat of prescience I began preparing for this theme 2 years ago.
The basis of this drink is a batch of Marmalade Sherry, the creation of which was a peerless example lemons-to-lemonade, of American Ingenuity snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. By coupling a sale on Seville oranges with a dubious recipe from the internet, Margarett and I produced a extra large batch of marmalade which never set. Instead of a firm jelly, we had a chunky puddle. The flavor was quite nice, but the consistency was such that it left your toast looking like a poltergeist had ectoplasmically copulated with it. We were left in, what might vulgarly be called 'a pickle'. Enter - A Genius. With a brix refractometer I diluted the marmalade with water and using White Labs Sherry Yeast let it ferment for 1.5 years to produce a wine of ~15% abv with a bit of residual sugar. I then used a tasty brandy to kill off the flor (the white coating which protects fino type sherries from oxidation) and fortify the wine to 19%. The taste is similar to Vin d'Orange (an excellent and informative recipe for which can be had here) but with the nutty character of sherry and a fair bit less sweetness.
For a while I've been enjoying it in a highball with House Spirits Gamle Aquavit, a star anise & caraway flavored spirit aged in used wine barrels. Anise & Orange is always an acceptable pairing to me, and the slightly bitter savory character of the marmalade sherry is a good match to the savoriness of the aquavit, like rye toast with jam. From there, I add Bols Natural Yoghurt Liqueur because it exists and if I dont use it it often seems like no one will. It adds a nice suggestion of apricot as well as some sweetness and moutfeel. The glass is empty because man as a creature is defined by his appetites, and also because my phone wasn't charged when I needed to take the picture. If your imagination should be insufficient to color in the void, perhaps vapidly staring through another episode of True Detective will help?