Forest Fire

I have wasted so much cocktail time this week avoiding the obvious with this cocktail.

I had an idea to create a cocktail that featured the Death’s Door Gin. When I was thinking about it, the interesting fact that the Bernheim Wheat Whiskey was also made on a Wheat base piqued my interest so I wanted to use both spirits.

One of the most common two spirit cocktails is the Vieux Carre Formula.

The proportions are:

1/3 One Spirit
1/3 Other Spirit
1/3 Sweet Vermouth
Dash liqueur
Dash Peychaud Bitters

However, I really wanted to do something that would feature the Death’s Door itself so was shifting the balance towards the gin. And it kept not working.

Finally, I gave in tonight and went with the usual equal proportions. And finally, I think it is pretty good.

Forest Fire (aka Vieux Carre Variation No. 3)

3/4 oz Death’s Door Gin
3/4 oz Bernheim Wheat Whiskey
3/4 oz M&R Sweet Vermouth (Do not use Punt e Mes. I’ve tried it and it sucks in this cocktail.)
1/4 oz Averna Limoni Lemon Liqueur*
1/4 oz Qi Black Tea Liqueur
Dash Peychaud’s Bitters
Orange Twist

Stir with ice, strain into cocktail glass, and flame an orange twist over the glass.

If you try it, let me know what you think.

Oh, and Robert, some of us Californians do have a sense of humor.

*Edit – The folks promoting Averna‘s new product expansion sent me a sample of this liqueur. It is a distilled lemon liqueur. I guess I would describe it more as a lemon version of Cointreau than as something similar to Limoncello. I cannot do it half the justice that my friend Lance Mayhew did on his blog: Truth and Beauty- Product Review Averna Limoni. “My mind was flooded with memories as I savored the Limoni. The heady smell of lemons in the markets of Italy, summers spent flirting with a sweet girl named Silence, sucking the nectar out of honeysuckle flowers when I was 10, all warm and powerful memories.” Fer cripes sake, how am I supposed to top that? Anyway, it is a very nice liqueur. I wanted a warm lemon flavor to represent the “fire” in the Forest Fire, and it works well. If you don’t have it around, use homemade limoncello. Or you could go another way, and use Cointreau in the drink, and then flame a lemon zest over the top at the end instead of orange.