Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Seasonal drinking

I thought to myself, there has to be a May Day cocktail out there, doesn't there?

Well, perhaps not. There is a Mayday - that has rather different and altogether more alarming connotations.

This puppy is a vodka martini jazzed up with cinnamon syrup and lemon juice, and garnished with a strawberry. (The recipe isn't clear on whether you're supposed to muddle some strawberry into the drink itself, but from the colour I'm supposing that you do. I'm not a big fan of fruity drinks, but this might be worth a try.)

If you're going to go fruity, I feel that usually works better with rum; and this recipe - same name, completely different drink - is an intriguing amalgam of rum (doesn't specify dark or light - I think I'd go for dark) and apple juice with fresh peaches, passionfruit, strawberries, and ginger. A bit too much bother for home preparation, but I wonder if Paul Mathew could be persuaded to give it a go at Flamme.

If Paul's not game, perhaps we can entice flamboyant Russian mixologist Bek Narzi over to Beijing to whip up some holiday drinks for us... Here he is on the Russian English-language TV station RT (formerly Russia Today) making a May Day drink with bourbon, pomegranate juice, honey, and egg whites.

I think the most tempting option I discovered in a little root around the Internet yesterday morning, though, is Sima - a kind of mildly alcoholic dark lemonade (usually fermented from honey as well as sugar, so technically a type of mead) with which the Finns traditionally celebrate Vappu (the Halloween-like shindig that much of northern Europe indulges in on the eve of St Walpurga's Day, i.e., overnight on the 30th April/1st May). It seems to be relatively easy to make: there are excellent instructions on the homebrew blog She Brews Good Ale.

And perhaps Mayda would be an even better name for a cocktail? Ah, the accidental discoveries one makes on Wikipedia!

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