Breakfast in America
2 oz Tennessee Whiskey
3/4 oz Becherovka
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/4 oz Cinnamon Maple Simple Syrup
Few dashes Coffee Pecan Bitters
1 whole egg
Combine everything is an empty shaker, vigorously dry shake to combine. Add ice, shake again. Strain into an empty rocks glass*. Garnish with shaved cinnamon and whiskey soaked raisins.
The holidays are fast approaching, which means lots of family time, whether they’re coming to you or vice versa. While the dinners are often the focal point, Gary of the Doc Elliott realizes extended stays mean breakfasts and brunches happen too. And as we all new, a little day drinking always helps bring the family together. That’s why his theme for this month’s Mixology Monday is brunch cocktails. You can read the full announcement post here, but three words sum it up. Bacon, Eggs, and Booze.
The timing is pretty perfect for me, since I recently made some coffee pecan bitters. This is a tailor made opportunity to use them. But I wanted to stay away from anything with milk or cream, otherwise I’m dangerously close to White Russian territory. So I set my sights on a flip. At this point, I found myself with the same dilemma I often experience while actually at brunch. That is, sweet or savory? The latter could be cool, but I’m not quite ready to attempt any fat washed spirits just yet. With the flip direction already established, I thought about sweet dishes that also have eggs. French toast is basically the granddaddy of them all, so let’s do it.
Taking things one step further, I used cinnamon raisin french toast as my inspiration. Obviously maple syrup would be involved, but I wanted to do more than just adding some straight from the jug. As I pondered ways to get cinnamon into the drink, it hit me — Cinnamon Maple Simple Syrup**! As a bonus, this simple syrup isn’t just for cocktails. I’m pretty sure it will be delicious on anything. And I mean En.Nee.Thing.Uh But why stop the cinnamon there? Some Becherovka keeps the theme going, with enough bitter bite to drag you out of that morning stupor.
What about the base spirit? Ideally, something sweet and a little bready. Sounds like a job for whiskey, but I feel like I’ve used my bourbons and ryes a lot lately. Digging in the back of my bar I found a bottle of Tennessee whiskey I bought for a camping trip this summer. It just so happens that to be labeled Tennessee whiskey, it must be filtered though maple charcoal. That fits my theme rather nicely.
And of course, what is brunch without some coffee to get your day going. A few dashes of coffee pecan bitters in the drink and on top create the Folgers effect – roasty caffeine goodness fills the air.
Once everything is shaken (twice) and in the glass, this truly qualifies as a liquid brunch. Cinnamon, maple, and a hint of coffee dance out of the cup into your nose. Egg and the simple syrup give it a velvety, creamy body. Whiskey and Becherovka work to snap you into alertness, with the latter adding another layer of cinnamon. The base spirit’s maltiness makes it drink even more like a meal, and keeps the other flavors on a short leash. Benedictine alternates between highlighting the breadiness and accentuating the spices throughout.
I decided to pull on a musical reference for the name. Specifically, the name of Supertramp’s best (in my opinion) album, Breakfast in America. The album has a picture of a waitress who would be more than happy to serve you some French Toast, in food or drink form, while definitely calling you “hon”.
If you’re sitting at brunch trying to decide between sweet and savory, remember the Breakfast in America. This drink covers the sweet side, and frees you up to go with the corned beef hash for the full brunch flavor spectrum.
Thanks again to Gary for hosting, and as usual a tip of the cap to Frederic Yarm for being the caretaker of the MxMo estate. Happy Brunching!
* Had to rep my home state with the glassware. One thing NJ does not lack is diners, so given the theme this month, this was the only glass to reach for. Shout out to my sister for adding this awesome glass to my roster.
** Combine 1 1/2 oz maple syrup, 1 oz water and 2-3 cinnamon sticks (broken into small pieces) in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for 15-30 mins. Remove from heat, let cool and remove cinnamon sticks. Add a splash of vodka and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Should last 3-4 weeks, but you’ll probably finish it before then.