For this cocktail, I had a fairly clear idea of what I was after. I was looking to create a drink that would round out the darker end of Wonderland Kitchen’s fall offerings—something slightly complex and rich, but not cloying. I sometimes regard drinks with a multitude of ingredients a little suspiciously, as though their creators were attempting to flex some sort of mixological muscles. But having now imagined my own hooch hydra, I may start to reconsider that position.
It all comes down to balance and if a cocktail tastes like a bunch of things thrown together and swirled around for the heck of it, well, that may just be the case. I would have pulled the plug on this particular project if I detected any of that going on, but thankfully what emerged was something I considered to be intriguing, exactly in line with my original intent, and pretty darn tasty to boot. The cocktail gets its name from the title track of an album by the late-1990s alternative rock group The Autumns.
In the Russet Gold of This Vain Hour
1 1/2 oz. Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac
1/2 oz. Smith & Cross Naval Strength Rum
1/2 oz. Amaro Montenegro
1 oz. Punt e Mes
1 tsp. St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
1 tsp. Demerara Syrup
Flamed orange peel for garnish
Combine the cognac, rum, amaro, Punt e Mes, allspice dram, and demerara syrup in a mixing glass. Stir with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Flame an orange peel over the top of the drink and drop it in for garnish.