Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Damn Fine Cocktails

I apologize for only posting drink recipes lately. I must confess I’m not feeling that interested in food these days, not just writing about it, but eating, too. I’ve had very little taste for anything and just eat out of hunger/necessity whatever sounds edible to me at the time (read as: lots of Chinese food).

But my current fascination with mixology isn’t terribly troubling to me, so as long as you all are on board let’s take another trip behind the bar for a few new cocktail ideas.

In honor of the year’s spookiest month Nicole and I have been watching Twin Peaks, gold edition box-set thank you very much. So far the only thing I haven’t liked about it is waiting twenty years to watch it. It’s a fantastic show that combines humor, mystery, romance, action, the supernatural, and just the right amount of Mayberry wholesomeness in a way that only David Lynch could make palatable, let alone watchable. In addition to being one of the most perfect shows to ever air on network television it’s also one of the most bewildering programs to ever land on network television. In today’s market of niche programming on both basic and premium it’s easy to imagine Twin Peaks as a sleeper hit on HBO or the mind-melting off season replacement for Mad Men, but in a pre-X-Files 1990/91 television landscape Twin Peaks’ unhinged lunacy was a miraculous pick up for CBS and an even more surprising renewal.

But enough about television history, let’s get to the booze! In a second season episode of TP the local bar is transformed into a courthouse during daytime hours to consider the cases of Leland Palmer and Leo Johnson. During what seems to be a rough day of court officiating the judge, resplendent in his western ware and robes, pulls our hero, Special Agent Dale Cooper, and town sheriff, Harry S. Truman, a side for a little, ahem, sidebar. The judge discusses Johnson’s case with the two lawmen while his assistant whips up a round of “Black Yukon Sucker Punches.” She hands the men three highballs full of a dark, bluish/purplish liquid which the judge warns will “sneak up on you!” This strange aside in the show and curious looking beverage set me to wondering just what the hell is in it?

I’ve been mulling it over for a little while, considering how to get the color right as well as making something that is easily drunk, the judge and Truman knock theirs back in just a few sips. Before I started inventing I thought I’d investigate further to see if anyone on the internet had already invented such a cocktail in homage to this cult classic. I eventually stumbled onto the Twin Peaks Gazette Message Board thread concerning this mythological quaff, but was disappointed by the disgusting and/or thoughtless recipes offered. For example this foul concoction: into a mug pour 11/2 oz of Yukon Jack, fill 3/4 with Hot black coffee, fill the rest of the way with black raspberry liqueur, float 1/2 oz. of Godiva (or Mozart, or the like) chocolate liqueur on top- may substitute with chocolate syrup. Nasty business. Another poster was a little closer with this: Pour 1 shot Yukon Jack, Pour 1 shot Blackberry Brandy, Dash of Bitters, Put in blender with ice, Blend about 5 seconds. Close, but still no cigar.

It seems it was up to me do the heavy lifting on this one. First things first, the name, “Black Yukon Sucker Punch,” it must be black or blackish in color, it should in some way incorporate “Yukon,” and should as the judge suggested sneak up or sucker punch the drinker. And as previously stated, the judge and sheriff belt theirs down in no time, so it’s got to be an easy sipper, too. What drinks in all of mixdom provide easy drinkability while packing a serious punch? A lot, sure, but none quite as infamously as the Long Island Iced Tea. The classic combo of gin, tequila, rum, and vodka seem like a whole gang of bad ideas in a glass, but through the magic of booze they all get along quite nicely. This formula would be my jumping off point. I knew as well that the drink should include Yukon Jack, the “black sheep of Canadian Liquors,” those message board posters got at least one thing right. Finally it had to be black. Black licorice flavored spirits certainly crossed my mind, but the idea of a drink based on Yukon Jack and Jagermeister has “bad night at the frat house” written all over it. No, it had to be black raspberry. With a few final tweaks I finally had the Black Yukon Sucker Punch recipe down. Take a look: Black Yukon Sucker Punch
- 1½oz Yukon Jack
- 1½oz Black Raspberry Liquor (the darker the better)
- 1½oz Rum (high proof, white)
- 1½oz Vodka (high proof)
- Splash Crème de Casis liqueur or Blue Curacao
- Cherry 7-up

Pour the four liquors into a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until well combined. Strain into a highball with ice. Top with some “damn fine” Cherry 7-up and float Crème de Casis or Blue Curacao on top. Garnish with a black cherry on an umbrella. No straw.
If that doesn’t tickle your liver or your nethers check your pulse and then try this next cocktail on for size…

Our hero throughout this epic mindfuck is a quirky special agent from the FBI, one Dale Cooper. Dale’s seemingly sole purpose in the series, aside from solving the mysterious death of Laura Palmer and rebuffing the advances of Audrey Horne, is the never ending quest for some “damn fine” coffee and pie. While the scientific ability to turn pie into a conveyance of hooch is not quite upon us, liquoring up coffee is well within our means.

The Dale Cooper:
- 4oz strong black coffee or espresso, iced
- 1½oz Kaluha
- 1½oz Vodka
- ½ to 1oz kirshwasser (cherry liqueur)

Get To It:
Combine coffee, kaluha, and vodka in a shaker with ice, shake to combine. Pour ½ to 1oz of the kirshwasser into a coffee mug and swirl to coat the sides, this is easier to do if the liqueur has been chilled redering it somewhat syrupy. Once the mug is coated pour off the rest of the kirshwasser and strain the coffee/liquor combo into the mug. To make it hot skip the shaker and pour the vodka and Kahlua into the cherry flavored mug. Top with hot coffee and stir to combine.

Don’t go adding any cream or sugar, Coop takes his coffee black. The cherry liqueur should add just a hint of fruity sweetness to the drink, like a swig of the black stuff after a big bite of some damn fine pie, Cooper’s other weakness. Swap out regular vodka for vanilla and make this a Cooper a la mode!

I hope you enjoy these! I’ve got a few more in the pipeline that I’ll hopefully get posted before the end of October. Expect a Bloody Mary variation for Laura, something dangerous and sweet for Audrey, and possibly something completely crazy and dangerous for Bob.


christa said...

i'm currently re-watching twin peaks (first watched it about 10 years ago), and was on the hunt for a viable "black yukon sucker punch" mix... your recipe seems to be the tastiest that i've seen thus far. can't wait to try it! thanks for the tenaciousness :) . bookmarked in my recipes folder. now where's that "bloody laura" recipe?!! ;)

Winslow and Becca Jenkins said...

We love Twin Peaks! Thanks for posting this recipe for the Black Yukon Sucker Punch. I, too, found the Twin Peaks Gazette and, while the site is great, the Sucker Punch recipe didn't sound too good. :/

I added your recipe to a list of other Sucker Punch Options for my "What Are You Sipping Today" piece on Sips With Friends.

Maybe you'll get some traffic from it. The post goes up on Friday, May 2 2014.

Sips With Friends - Variations on the Sucker Punch

Alex Mourning said...

Someone recently came up with a more plausible drink based on what was laid out at the bar right before involving Perrier, blue curaçao and egg whites blended to a blue foam and floated over a shot of Yukon Jack in about six ounces of coffee.

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