I read about this one yesterday on Imbibe Magazine's blog, and thought "that sounds interesting...let's try it!" The thing that might make some of you gasp is that it combines liquor and beer. And not in a "Boilermaker" fashion, either. See, our Founding Fathers, in addition to being bewigged and remarkably prescient, were hard drinkers, of a fortitude that we can merely aspire to. Water, in the days before treatment plants, was not always the most potable thing around. Beer, wine, rum and whiskey, by virtue of their alcohol content, were safer bets. And so the builders of this nation drank. Morning, noon and night. As Imbibe puts it on their blog entry, "With breakfast, they drank beer and wine; with dinner it was claret and Cognac. And they drank rum all the time." The average was 8 ounces of alcohol a day. And from those building blocks, James MacWilliams, bartender at Canlis Restaurant in Seattle, came up with this:
The Declaration CocktailIt's really remarkably good...everything works quite harmoniously, the nutty nature of the beer complimenting the spice of the rye and the sweetness of the rum, rounded out with the sugar syrup...it's well worth trying. Seriously. I cannot tell a lie.
1 oz rum (something with good fruit notes in it, I used Bacardi 8)
3/4 oz rye whiskey (something strong and spicy, though Old Overholt worked for me)
3/4 oz brown sugar syrup (MacWilliams suggests 1:1 brown sugar to water, I actually used 2:1 demerara sugar to water)
6 oz of chilled beer (mine was local New Glarus Brewing Co.'s Fat Squirrel, which is like Newcastle in that it's a nut brown ale-type beer)
Build in a 12 oz glass with a few cubes of ice, stirring to combine. A dash of Angostura bitters will not go astray, either, and makes it a proper cocktail.
Happy 233rd birthday, America. Celebrate responsibly. And try not to blow off any fingers.