Sit back and enjoy a crisp, smooth and silky autumn-inspired cocktail.
Okay, so I’m going to go ahead and date myself here…but I miss the act of listening to an album (or frankly just saying album without an eye roll) from start to finish. I’ll admit, the ease of listening to music on Spotify, Pandora, or even just yelling out a song to Alexa (with a 50/50 chance that she’ll get it right) gives me a little music ADD.
I grew up at the end of the age of vinyl and really peaked with the cassette. I spent my formative years listening to FM radio with my fingertips poised and at the ready to record my latest favorite on a shiny blank cassette. I would will the DJ to limit the talk-up so I could record the entire song and I compiled some stellar tapes filled with Howard Jones, John Waite, and of course, Journey…all a little bit yearning and so satisfying to my angsty, pre-teen soul.
But when I truly fell in love with a song, I would save my dollars and head to the record store to buy the album. I reserved these big expenditures for the classics. I went hard into the Beatles, the Doors, Zeppelin, and sprinkled in the occasional awful cassingle (I mean you didn’t really expect me to buy the entire Frankie Goes to Hollywood album did you?). As much as I was a child of the 80’s, I found that my soul existed in the 60’s and 70’s. I spent hours upon hours cross-legged on my bed with the liner notes and lyrics to Sgt. Pepper and the White Album. I hit stop, rewind, and play so many times that I pretty much wore off the symbols to the keys of my pink boombox. It was paramount that I not only learned the words to every song, but the meaning and intention behind them.
Listening to an album from start to finish was important. It was the way the artist wanted us to hear and experience their music. From brash and angry, to sweet and wistful…the order of songs created the mood. When I was cooking dinner in the kitchen the other night and the boys were finishing their homework at the table, I decided it was time for a little Beatles 101. And not the hits, but the experience of an album. I eased them in with a little Revolver, but then really went for it with the White Album. They were mildly receptive and actually pretty tolerant of my rantings musings about the songs, the history, the importance. And then I declared that this coming weekend is going to be all Beatles, all the time.
We’re going to listen to their albums from start to finish. Maybe they’ll be reading the lyrics from the screen of an iPad instead of the back of an LP or unfolded from the cover of a cassette, but we’re gonna dig in. We’ll sit around the fire pit, crank up the volume and sip something delicious. I’ll ply them with marshmallow-laden hot chocolate and pour some sexy autumn cocktails for the grown-ups. We’ll listen the way we used to, intentionally, and without the distraction of texting, games and screens.
Oh, and do I have the perfect cocktail for this experience. It’s smooth, fall-esque and silky. I’ve blended apple brandy with ginger liqueur, added some charred lemon (yep, charred), a splash of bitters, and a frothy egg white. It’s got warmth, it’s got bite, but with a mellow, almost creamy mouth-feel thanks to the addition of the egg white. I put on my big girl mixologist pants for this one, so trust me, as long as you’re dealing with fresh, pasteurized eggs you should have no fear. The egg white mellows the alcohol and this drink is exactly what you want to be sipping while listening to your favorite album from start to finish. So shake it up and settle in, because it’s going to be a deep tracks weekend baby. Cheers.
- 1 lemon cut in half + 2 lemon slices
- 1 egg white
- 4 oz Calvados apple brandy
- 3 oz ginger liqueur Domaine de Canton
- dash of bitters
Heat a cast iron or stainless steel pan over high heat. Sear the lemon slices and two lemon halves, cut side down, in the pan until browned, about 3 mins (flip the slices once).
Squeeze the juice from the lemon halves and remove any seeds. Reserve the charred slices for garnish.
In a cocktail shaker, add the egg white, Calvados, ginger liqueur, bitters and 1 1/2 oz of the charred lemon juice and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
Add a large scoop of ice and shake for an additional 30 seconds.
Strain into two coupe or martini glasses and garnish with charred lemon slices.