This is my First year in LA. Well… actually it’s only been my First six months.
It was the First time ever I did not go to Ohio to see my mom for Christmas.
It was the First time I’ve spent Christmas with my younger brother and sister.
It was the First time I’ve celebrated Christmas in Las Vegas.
Technically they are my half brother and sister. We have the same dad. Their mom is my ex-step mom. I’ve always lived with my mom. My brother and sister have always lived with their mom. When they were 2 and 3 years old my dad moved to Vegas for a better job. I was 8. When my brother and sister were 17 and 18 our dad and their mom divorced. And that’s why she’s my ex-step mom and why I’ve never spent Christmas with my brother and sister.
We had Christmas day dinner at my ex-step aunt Nancy’s house. She and her husband have a full bar. Somehow this also became my First Christmas as the family bartender. Apparently the way I walked in and took a cursory glance around the bar inspired confidence in my ability to concoct something out of nothing. Because that’s what I had to work with.
The only drink the bar was equipped to make was margaritas. Tequila, triple sec, cointreau, lime juice, salt and beer. But margaritas aren’t exactly your typical Christmas drink. Especially for the men folk who are looking for something a little stronger. Except for the bottle of lime juice, the only liquids I had available for mixing were other liquors. Mostly whiskeys. I did have a bottle of Bailey’s at my disposal. There was no vodka and no gin so I really had my work cut out for me.
One ex-step cousin is also an ex-marine. He was trying to show off his ability to drink by making my brother a Loaded Landshark (a Landshark Lager with 1-2 shots of tequila poured in). He told me to surprise him with something and to make it strong. At first I thought I would make him a Car Bomb (1/2 pint of Guinness, 1oz shot Bailey’s, 1 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey) but there was no Guinness to be found in the house. So I tried making a low rent version – 2 shots of Irish Whiskey with 1 shot of Bailey’s.
It was disgusting.
But the ex-step cousin, ex-marine who agreed that it was vile came back for a second one.
I spent the next 20 minutes pulling bottle of whiskey after bottle of whiskey off of the shelf trying to unearth something that might be mixable and potentially become a passable drink when I found a tiny gem. Shoved all the way in the back corner of the bar I unearthed small box that contained a few airplane sized bottles of alcohol. Out of the 6 bottles, five were Sambuca. The last was a bottle of Amaretto. At last I found something mixable. Now I just needed to decide if it was mixable with whiskey, beer, tequila or Sambuca.
But then I caught a glimpse of something else. Something festive and green. A bottle of Sake. So I poured approximately 2 shots of Sake and one of Amaretto into a glass over 2 ice cubes. It was delicious.
I was so excited about this that I decided that I was going to make these back in LA for New Year’s Eve. I headed to BevMo! with the one person who is obligated to spend New Year’s Eve with me: Uncle Waldo, a dude I’m dating. (He asked that I use that name for him–no, just for this post, I don’t call him that in real life.) We walked through the store looking for my necessary ingredients. Amaretto is easy enough to find and choose but I quickly realized how much knowledge I DON’T have about Sake. So we chose the Sake based on two things:
We landed on a $10 bottle with a name that translated into “Snow Maiden”. And we rewarded ourselves by spending 25 cents each and enjoying their champagne tasting. As we were walking to Uncle Waldo’s car he asked me “What are you going to do with this drink?”
“I don’t know. It’s not like I work at a bar,” I said.
“Yeah, but you do keep a cocktail blog. Don’t you think you should name this and put it on the blog?”
He did have a good point.
We got back to his house and I made one for him to taste. This is when I truly discovered my need for a better understanding of Sake. The one I used to originally make the drink was dry. Snow Maiden was very sweet. It was also quite cloudy. It made the drink less light and festive and more like a dessert wine. The milky consistency of the Sake gave it the color of murky water.
Uncle Waldo asked if I’d thought of name yet.
He asked me what I would plan on serving the drink in.
I had no idea.
Then he was struck with inspiration.
“Sake is from Japan. Amaretto is from Italy. Why not serve this in a beer stein?”
“Mainly because, as tasty as this is, I can’t see anyone drinking an entire stein of it.”
“What about a cordial glass made in Germany?”
“What is your deal with German barware?”
“I was just thinking of a name.”
And that’s how I came to contribute my first drink to Morbid Cocktails.
The Axis of Evil* (Germany, Italy, Japan)
2 shots Sake (preferably dry and not cloudy)
1 shot Amaretto
Serve in a cordial glass neat or in a brandy snifter on the rocks. Only good Aryan glassware permitted, of course.