In ancient Norse mythology the Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, were reflections off the spectacular armor of the Valkyries, the warrior women who escorted the dead across the northern skies to the legendary Valhalla.  For the Romans, Aurora was the goddess of the dawn.  Each day to rejuvenate herself she flew across the northern sky to announce the coming of the sun.  And Finnish folklore tells of mythical foxes that spark fires in the sky with their tales.  You may be wondering what this mythology has to do with cocktails…

Comfortably seated at Craigie’s crowded bar (this is one popular place!), Holly and I enjoyed a Northern Lights while we waited for Maura to join us.  This drink is SO good!  With scotch, St. Germain, lemon and tiki bitters this cocktail has a wonderful range of flavors, like the beautiful spectrum of colors of the meteorological phenomenon of the same name.  The smoky, sweet, and tart flavors are enhanced with house-made tiki bitters which feature ginger, orange essence and baking spices.  One of the things that Holly and I liked best about this drink was the subtly of the St. Germain.  Now, I totally love the elderflower liqueur, but it often takes over a drink.  Here, however, the scotch holds it at bay and the St. Germain just adds a delicate bright sweetness.  A drink that stands up to the legends of ancient mythology– complex, magical, and pleasing.

Maura soon joined us and we moved onto the Cocktail Whim.  This was my 3rd adventure in this cocktail tasting and I love the concept more and more each time.  Once again, Carrie served up four great drinks– three of which featured Benedictine, one of my favorite liqueurs.  We started with a Belle du Jour—brandy, Benedictine, house-made grenadine topped with Champagne.

Maura, Holly and I enjoying our Belle du Jour-- Look at that gorgeous color!

Our second drink was a classic daiquiri— rum, lime juice, and simple syrup.  Deliciously simple. Simply delicious.  Next, we sipped on a Vieux Carre—rye, brandy, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, Angostura and Peychaud’s.  The rich, complexity of this drink paired nicely with our delicious burgers.  Our final drink, a Colleen Bawn—a flip made with brandy, Benedictine and yellow Chartreuse (and an egg, of course)– was a nice herbally ending to our tasting.  Then as an extra treat, Carrie let us sample a drink she’s working on for next Sunday’s event at Green Street.  All I’ll say is that it’s heavy on the smoky mezcal and leave the rest for next Sunday.

Cheers!

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