The calendar has turned another page, which means that summer has once again rounded the corner into autumn and October—bringing with it my favorite holiday, Samhain. Hallowe’en is certainly a popular holiday for throwing parties, and we here at SLOSHED! want to make yours a success…your bar, that is. We’ll be featuring two All Hallows-themed drinks per week to get into the spooky spirit and guarantee that your cocktail party will be a preternatural success.
First up is a favorite cocktail around this house, created by friend, bartender and blogger extraordinaire Erik Ellestad. Erik and his lovely wife live in San Francisco, where he tends bar at Heaven’s Dog and is known online for his well-researched and exhaustive blogging of all the drinks in The Savoy Cocktail Book at Underhill-Lounge. What is not commonly known about Erik is that he is permanently in the Halloween spirit, mixing and writing from the
dungeon laboratory office below his house. How’s that for a cocktail with appropriate pedigree?
Erik randomly tweeted the recipe for the Ashtray Heart one night and it immediately piqued my interest. I jotted it down; we gave it a spin and loved it. I don’t think Erik even knows how much we have enjoyed his off-the-cuff creation, as we make at least two batches of these per month. But now that I’ve outed our fascination for this concoction, I hope that this spreads the love around a bit.
1 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican rum
1 oz dry vermouth
1 oz Punt e Mes vermouth
Pour a small amount of mezcal into a cocktail glass and turn it to coat the inside completely. Discard excess mezcal and set the glass aside. Stir rum and vermouths well in an iced mixing glass and strain into the waiting mezcal-rinsed glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist and serve.
For the purposes of a Halloween party, this may be a bit daring for drinkers who are not accustomed to assertive flavors—we’ll be posting some drinks that have less pronounced flavor profiles later in the month. But if your guests are the types who like peaty Scotches or gutsy tequilas and mezcals, this drink will certainly be a hit. Be sure that you can find Smith & Cross Jamaican rum for this drink, as well. Though I normally endorse substitutions, there is no flavor quite like a pot-stilled rum and this drink absolutely won’t work without it.