One of the great things about being a cocktail enthusiast is that all your friends tend to pick up on your passion and share their cocktail discoveries with you. Seeing as how my friends have spread out all around the world, I'm lucky to catch glimpses into the local cocktail scene when I travel.
For our honeymoon this past May, Will and I chose to pay a visit to Zurich, Switzerland, and the surrounding mountain scenery. We settled on this specific stop to reconnect with our good friend Livia who we had the pleasure of meeting in Chicago while she studied abroad. She diligently planned out the top restaurants and cocktail bars to introduce us to, and one of the latter stood out as a huge source of mixology and hosting inspiration.
The Old Crow was everything a classic bar should be: tucked away on a winding cobbled street, full of cozy nooks and dim lighting, walls covered with bottles from around the world and a true gentleman of a bartender making sure you enjoyed the cocktail experience to the fullest. He patiently walked us through the extensive menu, making suggestions based on his preferences and offering helpful insight. This extra degree of service always enhances my cocktail experience by creating a personal connection and an environment of discovery.
I settled upon the Lumberjack cocktail - featuring Calvados, red wine syrup, maple syrup, lemon and egg white. While I hadn't previously had much experience with aged apple brandy, I loved the dimension it gave to the drink. The strong wine flavor balanced with the creaminess of the egg white and the entire concoction served as the perfect tribute to fall. I knew I had to work these flavors into my own mixology experimentation, and I hope you enjoy the result just in time for the dancing leaves, crisp nights and stunning color arrays.
I made two adjustments for my own take on this cocktail - substituting overproof rye whiskey for apple brandy and incorporating Seasons Soda Maple Demi-Sec for both maple flavor and effervescence (sidenote: this is hands down the most delicious soda I've ever tried and I don't even like soda). Feel free to play with the flavors to your own liking depending on what you prefer - spice, sweetness or a hint of fruit. Customization is what makes mixology so enjoyable!
The Old Crow
- 1.5 oz rye whiskey (I used Rittenhouse Rye)
- 4 oz Seasons Soda Maple Demi-Sec
- Juice of 0.5 lemon
- Egg white
- 1 tbsp red wine syrup*
- Ground nutmeg, for garnish
Combine all ingredients other than soda and nutmeg in a shaker. Dry shake (without ice) for 10-15 seconds, popping the cap occasionally to release the pressure from the egg white. Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a stemmed glass and top with maple soda. Dust with ground nutmeg and enjoy while adventuring into the depths of historically rich locales.
*To make red wine syrup, heat 2 parts red table wine and 1 part sugar in a small sauce pan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Store in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.