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Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Overlook Cocktail

Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. - Job 16:19

Recently I had the good fortune to finally track down a bottle of the mythical Advocaat, an egg-based Dutch concoction that played a pivotal part in the Stanley Kubrick film The Shining. I didn't know what to expect, but I was a bit taken aback by its viscous texture and ripe custard funk.

So what to do with it? At first I tried the logical first thing that entered my mind - the mixture that Jack Nicholson in the film jokes about after Grady the Satanic Butler spills Advocaat all over him and into his own drink:

Bourbon and Advocaat.

Although "add bourbon to it" is almost always a surefire solution to any dilemma about what to do with any given liqueur, this time it just didn't work for me. Advocaat is such a thick and cloying substance, the bourbon just gets lost in it unless you add a lot. And frankly, I just don't want to waste that much Russell's. The sharp custardy taste of Advocaat doesn't mix well with bourbon anyway - it isn't like Egg Nog at all, as I had presumed it would be.

This is probably best geared towards enhancing its weird sweetness, rather than trying to combat it. Southern Comfort might blend better with it than bourbon, but I don't have any in the JSH liquor cabinet and didn't really feel like going out and buying some just for a long-shot experiment.

No, clearly this is a job for Amaretto. Throw weird sweetness at weird sweetness. The recipe is simple: equal parts Amaretto and Advocaat.

Today was an unseasonably warm day, so I spent a pleasant hour this Christmas Eve Eve sitting on the old veranda, basking in the sun and sipping an ice cold... er.... what do I call this? How about the Overlook Cocktail? (So named for the film's Overlook Hotel)

But, my faithful acolytes and adepts, I can't bullshit you. If the question was put to me, will you ever fix this drink again?, I gotta say no. It's just too rich, too eggy, too much like a stale flan strained through too much dishwater to be helped by creekwater. Though I appreciate its mythic resonance and lineage, this is one devil I don't need to dance with in the pale moonlight.

(I did scan the web for inspiration, but everyone else's recipes sounded even worse than mine. Check out the Fluffy Duck, a truly turgid-sounding mix of Advocaat, creme de cacao, and 7up.)

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