One of the nerdy rights of passage is coming back from a convention and immediately coming down with a nasty case of Con Crud. It's a blend of the flu, the common cold, and ohmygodican'tgetoffthecouch that happens when you pack a mess of people all into one place for a weekend and then go full speed, don't sleep, and live off caffeine and booze. Which is why I'm continuing the trend of late to my own cocktail party.
But holy cow it was a great round this/last month. Anime, comics, My Little Pony, birdwatching and D&D all made appearances. But I think most creative adaptation of the theme has to go to Craig E for his pangram inspired duo. If you're like me and you didn't know what a pangram was, it's a sentence that uses every letter in the alphabet. One of the most famous pangrams is "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." Here we have two cocktails who's instructions are also pangrams. I love word play!
I also really love that, even though Craig wasn't the most happy with the way this turned out that we still get to see it. I'm really into seeing the thought process that goes into the craft of cocktail making so this hit several nerd themes for me.
Craig also gave us this lovely spirit forward number that I'm very keen to try out. I love me some mole bitters so this is going on my to shop for list. I'm sadly out of Mezcal. Better if you don't ask...
Our next submission was from Meticulous Mixing, and I have to admit when I first saw the title I thought we were going to get some kind of Burning Man inspired libation. And I was really keen to see where that was going. But this is better. Because it's on fire! It's inspired by a manga/anime serial/song that sounds delightfully bizarre in the way only anime can really do. Add item one bazzillion to my Must Watch list...
Also did I mention this is a shot. And it's on fire!
Our esteemed host Fred at Cocktail V̶i̶r̶g̶i̶n̶ Slut literally gave us the sun. But in cocktail format. I love the fact that he combined his nerdy love of vintage cocktails and cocktail history with his nerdy love of astronomy. Way to embrace the theme! Also this looks delicious and I super want one. It's a punch with citrus and rum and rose liqueur in it. Who wouldn't want one?
The Booze Nerds got into the theme by pulling out their favorite fantasy inspirations and gave us two beverages that I'm seriously thinking need to be had at my next D&D gaming night. The D20, named for the ubiquitous polyhedral die gamer nerds know and love/hate, sounds like the sort of Autumnal imbibeable I'm forever dreaming of. Honey Cider and Brandy? Yes please.
We also got this coy seeming number of American whiskey, Amaretto and Pomegranate juice. This seems like the perfect sort of thing for a rogueish Lady or maybe a not-so-good Cleric to sip while she counts her latest haul of treasure.
Over at Garnish, we got a glimpse into the really-not-all-that-different-from-Pokemon-Go world of bird watching. Collect them all and get super excited when you find a rare one or one that is totally outside of its usual habitat. With the bonus of being able to celebrate with this delicious sounding cocktail. Rye and Apple brandy sound like a combination I will be drinking loads of this Fall. And being in Washington there's likely a good local Applejack or Apple Brandy.
OOOH, research project!
Southern Ash got us into some classic nerd places with his ode to Cyclopes and the X-Men. In the greater scheme of things, I agree that Scott gets glossed over in favor of the bad boy (Logan) but he was clearly the better choice for Jean's affection. I'm really excited to see him celebrated in this Negroni inspired number. I totally ship this Gin/Campari/Dry Curacao triangle.
Speaking of Logan... Mr. Muddle gave us maybe my favorite garnish for his ode to Wolverine. I mean, he made a claw out of blueberries and lemon peel. I die.
I also really want to drink this Fernet and whiskey concoction. Probably while smoking a cigar and having a super bad attitude.
By Grabthar's Hammer I want this cocktail. I have no idea what Nitrogen Cavitation is but I love that probable chemistry was involved in making this nerdy cocktail. I also love Gin bitters, and as I need to make more I might just steal Doc Elliott's recipe. For the next time I need to make a virgin G&T.
In the meantime I think I need to rewatch Galaxy Quest for the eleventybillionth time. Because Sigourney Weaver.
Totally not last to the party (that was me) but bringing in a fandom I'm not super familiar with, is WJM Beverage with this My Little Pony inspired apple tiki tipple. With a hand painted mug no less! Seriously this is cosplay on a whole other level. Also rum and apples might be a thing I need to experiment with more because this sounds really good.
And then there was me. Inspired by Steamposium, and Steam Punk in general, I got to play with one of my favorite wholesale partner's gin and a good friend's tea. The Airship Captain was a really fun cocktail for me to develop and even funner for me to stage the picture of. How cool is that vintage flight hat?
Huge giant thanks to everyone who participated, and to Fred especially for keeping us all involved. Also for putting up with me being late on everything. I hope this inspired you to look in new and interesting places for your cocktail inspiration and that you all had fun learning about each other.
So, of course I'm late to my own party...
To be fair I've been getting ready to vend at a SteamPunk Convention here in Seattle, which is sort of in the vein of the prompt. It's also the inspiration for my contribution.
Steampunk, for those of you not in the know, is an aesthetic/literary movement based on the steam powered/industrial revolution era with an emphasis on Victorian England. It combines science fiction, alt-history, costuming and tea. It's delightfully fun, and you get to play dress-up! And while yes there are loads of men in frock coats and women in corsets standing around and making delightful eye candy, there is also a very strong maker community that creates props, art, sculpture, modifies electronic devices, and more!
As a litterary movement, there are loads of fun adventure/horror/mystery stories to explore. Anything by Jules Vern or H. G. Wells, the original era writers. Comics like Girl Genius, Hark a Vagrant, Lady Mechanika and others. Modern books like The Parasol Protectorate series, The Difference Engine, Infernal Devices, and Boneshaker are great places to start.
The thing I love best about Steampunk is it's blending of what was with what could have been, and what never was. Often advanced science is powered by steam creating monstrous mechanical marvels, while genteel people take tea and discuss the latest Penny Dreadful. Alternative histories where dashing airship captains swashbuckle for the glory of Queen and Country brush up against horror novels where Jack the Ripper stalks and the undead roam.
So, how am I going to make all THAT into a cocktail? Well I wanted to start with gin, of course. A solid London Dry style gin from Copperworks Distilling seemed like the perfect choice. Their name is even a bit reminiscent of the Steampunk genre. I also knew I wanted to incorporate tea into my cocktail. I've been having tons of fun with tea in cocktails lately, and it so happens that I have an amazingly talented friend who blends and sells the most delightful geeky teas. If you're a tea fan, I can't say enough good things about Friday Afternoon Tea.
Our Apricot Rosemary shrub seemed like the perfect choice for this tea and gin concoction, both because of its color and because I've used it in both gin and tea based cocktails before. I mixed the three components together and felt like it needed a little something more. So into the bitters drawer, and first thing my eye sees are Teapot Bitters which I've been looking for an excuse to play with. They add a spicy note to this cocktail that speaks of danger and dark places well brought up young ladies shouldn't go (but do anyway because it's fun).
Overall the sip on this is herbaceous and the tea gives me earthy notes of leather. I think making this with a touch of smoked tea next time would deepen that. The sweetness is present but not overpowering and there's just a little bit of alcohol bite from the gin.
1.5 oz over brewed black tea
1.5 oz Copperworks Gin
.75 oz Apricot Rosemary shrub
4 dashes Teapot Bitters
Combine everything in a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a steely gaze and a captain's hat.