Quick tip: When someone invites you to dinner, maybe even Thanksgiving dinner, instead of offering to bring the wine, volunteer to bring a specialty cocktail. Preferably a cocktail that forces you out of your Manhattan-and-Gin-and-Tonic cocktail rut. If it’s this time of year, the cold time of year, preferably one that is brown. Preferably one that requires you to hunt down and learn about an ingredient you’ve never heard of, like Suze, but not one that requires you to purchase expensive bottles that are lovely and aromatic but that you’ll likely never use again. (And about that expensive bottle, preferably one that isn’t carried at your local liquor store, but one that the owner of that liquor store happens to have in the trunk of his car, and hands over to you for free! True story!) Preferably one that does not require a lot of fanfare to prepare. Preferably one that looks beautiful served in your host’s grandmother’s vintage coupes. Preferably….
…this one. I discovered the recipe by reading and ogling my way though Jim Meehan’s comprehensive, classy new Meehan’s Bartender Manual. Now that I’m equipped to make them, I plan on doing so all season long. It’s warming, like a Manhattan, but slightly sweet and floral, perfect for a cozy winter night with friends. But maybe be warned before you offer one to your blowhard uncle during Thanksgiving cocktail hour: It was given Joe Louis’ nickname, “The Brown Bomber,” (not the most politically correct nickname, I should add) due to its considerable, iconic strength. This drink is not for the faint of heart or for those who tend to shout their opinions as opposed to share them. I think you know what I’m saying. Happy weekend, everyone. Cheers.
Reprinted with permission from Meehan’s Bartender Manual, by Jim Meehan, copyright © 2017 by Mixography Inc. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Doron Gild.