Sunday, October 23, 2011

MxMo LXII: Morning Drinks

Pumpkin Milk Punch
A Tipsy Vixen creation

1 oz Advocaat
1/2 oz Raynal VSOP Cognac
3/4 tbsp Libby's canned pumpkin
1/2 oz simple syrup
2 oz whole milk
dash of vanilla extract (optional)
cinnamon or pie spice

Build ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until cold, and strain into an old-fashioned glass over ice. Sprinkle ground cinnamon or pie spice over the top of the drink to garnish, and enjoy!

I had my first Brandy Milk Punch while having brunch with my good friend, Millicent, at Lula Cafe.  It's quaint but hip little restaurant in the heart of Logan Square, and while some have accused the joint of being more hip-ster than hip, I have come to be more forgiving of the occasionally pretentious staff.  When I ordered the drink, after having read about somewhere (unfortunately, where exactly escapes me,) the bartender- a young lass who no doubt rolls up her left pant leg when she rides her fixie to work everyday- looked at me a little cross-eyed, and seemed almost annoyed given that she clearly thought this to be some fly-by-night trixie cocktail.  I seem to recall that she even said something like, "oh, that must be something kind of new because I've never heard of it," as she set down her copy of Franny & Zoe, to serve my friend and I.  Millicent found this exchange more amusing once I politely offered to our bonny bartender that it was in fact a much older drink, having been created by the original hipsters, the barmen of the Golden Age of Cocktails.  Suddenly more intrigued, she set about finding a recipe on her iPhone, and whipped up the drink post haste.

My first sip was sublime, and it's safe to say that I've been firmly ensconced in the bandcamp since.  Our bartender made extra, eager to try it herself, and enjoyed it so much she spent the rest of the morning talking whiskey and shooting the breeze with us.  It's the morning that finally sold me part-and-parcel on Lula Cafe as a neighborhood hang out, and opened up the field of breakfast drinks for me beyond the safe and expected (read: boring,) standbys like Screwdrivers, Mimosas, and Bloody Marys.  Don't get me wrong, I love a Bloody Mary with all my heart, but sometimes, it just doesn't make a great dance partner for my french toast and veggie sausage...

It should also be noted that I'm a big fan of pumpkin pie, eggnog, and all things autumnal.  As such, I decided that for this month's Mixology Monday theme, Morning Drinks, I wanted to not only create a drink that was breakfast friendly and decidedly lacking in orange juice as a component, but also a perfect snapshot of my favorite time of year.  I think this version nicely captures all of the  flavors of pumpkin pie, and also provided a nice excuse to use the Advocaat I made from scratch this week.  I opted for milk here, instead of the traditional half & half, since the addition of the mashed pumpkin and the Advocaat make for substational thickeners, but try it anyway if you feel so moved, or just prefer a more viscous beverage.

Also, take a minute to stop by Kevin's blog, Cocktail Enthusiast- he hosted this month's event, and has some really great reviews and cocktails to share...

Cheers, and happy fall!

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