‘Tis the Drinkin’
A Chicago mixologist invents some Purim-themed cocktails
Charles Joly, the chief mixologist at the acclaimed Drawing Room in Chicago, had never heard of Purim’s obligation to drink “until one cannot tell the difference between ‘blessed is Mordechai’ and ‘cursed is Hamen.’ ” When we asked him to design a few drinks for what he delightedly called “the Jewish drinking holiday,” he jumped into the task, reading up on the festival and asking Jewish friends to help. “I had a variety of response from friends,” he said. “Some vaguely remembered the festival, and others who could have written a book on it. It’s one of those things where there are traditions in every family.”
Spill the Wine
Wine kept appearing during my readings, so it made sense to me to make a cocktail with red wine as the base. At the end of the day, a red cocktail has lower alcohol than a spirit base, so if you’re enjoying it all night it won’t put you in a terrible state.
2oz Finca Crianza Rioja
1oz Spanish brandy (I used Senor Lustau Gran Reserva)
1/2 oz Pedro Ximenez
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz simple syrup (1:1)
3/4 oz Brut Cava
2 dash Angostura Orange bitters
Combine all ingredients except for Cava in a mixing glass. Add ice and shake well. Add Cava and roll to combine. Strain into wine glass.
Use a channel knife to cut a long twist and aromatize top of cocktail. Place decoratively.
Ethel Meets Esther
Joly adapted the second drink from The Ethel, an ode to the eponymous still at the North Shore distillery run by Sonja and Derek Kassebaum. It’s only available in Chicago, but if you can’t find their Aqauvit, says Joly, “you can always substitute. You’re not putting a man on the moon, and as long as it tastes good that’s what important.
The thing that kept coming up were these Jelly-filled cookies [Hamentashn]. Jam is something Midwestern bartenders use in cocktails quite a bit. We have to make cocktails delicious, right now, and if you are in a climate like this where nothing’s growing, we lean towards Jam and Jelly.
1 1/2 oz North Shore Aquavit
¾ Galliano l’authentico
Spoon orange marmalade
¾ lemon juice
¼ oz simple syrup
Combine all ingredients in mixing glass. Add ice, shake, and strain into chilled cocktail coupe. Use a vegetable peeler to cut a strip of orange peel, mist cocktail with oil, and place decoratively.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.