If you were to create a drink in honor of your mother, what would you call it? What ingredients would be in it, and why?
This is the challenge I set for myself last weekend, for Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, for the past three years I have been hundreds of miles away at college, leaving the clumsily cut fruit, scrambled eggs, and slightly burnt toast (the hallmark of Mother’s Day breakfasts-in-bed) to my 12-year-old brother. Sometimes I remember to mail a card, I usually end up calling, and to cut this story short: I thought my good ol’ mom deserved better this year. Or at least, something more creative.
Conjuring up a cocktail from scratch is serious business. Conjuring up a cocktail and a shot for your mother, well, that’s just the sort of adventure I’m only willing to take on because I’m a spring term senior, and it invariably involves taste tests. The process was a labor of love, and fun, too, as I tried to pick out aspects that would translate well into a drink, from background to name to flavor.
The first drink gets its inspiration from my mom’s name, which also happens to be the name of a liqueur that was popular back in the early 1900′s called creme yvette. With hints of vanilla, berries, and violet, it is a storied liqueur, known for giving the popular Aviation Cocktail its beautiful, pale blue hue. It went out of production 40 years ago but recently has resurged in small batches. Creme yvette is hard to find, so I settled for black raspberry liqueur instead. Second, my mom’s last name means “chocolate” in Dutch, and chocolate seemed like a natural pairing with fruit. Combine these flavors with vodka, and you get the Cheeky Yvette, a decadent shot.
For the second drink, I started with my mom’s preferred alcohol of choice: bourbon. To be specific, bourbon on the rocks. Unfortunately I am not yet the kind of woman that likes bourbon on the rocks. At the same time, my mother is and always has been much more of a lady than I am. I hope to grow into a young woman with her organizational skills, neatness, and natural grace. Thus, the Southern Belle was born – a sassy-sweet spin on the classic whiskey lemonade. Muddled strawberries give it a summery feel, and rose water is a delicate, nostalgic flavor. Personally, I’ve been wondering where rose water has been all my life, and I guarantee this is shaping up to be the drink of my summer.
Kenzie Zimmer is a soon-to-be graduate who did inherit her mom’s insatiable sweet-tooth.
** Recipes **
Berry liqueur, such as Chambord
Rim the edge of a shotglass with chocolate syrup. Add equal parts liqueur and vodka. Naz drovya!
1 1/2 shots bourbon
1 tablespoon simple syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon rose water (can be found at co-ops, specialty stores, or the international aisle)
Muddle/macerate strawberries with a fork in a mason jar or high-ball glass. Add enough ice cubes to almost fill the glass. Add the bourbon, simple syrup, lemon juice, & rose water to a cocktail shaker filled with ice; immediately shake vigorously for 15 seconds and pour into glass. Top with club soda and mix slightly to stir up the strawberries.