The Epimetheus, or Epi for short, is one of my favorite creations to date. I whipped the first one up nearly two years ago and it has been one of my go-to drinks ever since. Originally created because I wanted to try and put together a cold toddy recipe, the drink was designed to be warming, yet still refreshing. It went for months without a name (I’m usually loathe to name my drinks, and aside from a few character based cocktails, I didn’t start naming any of my drinks until launching this blog, truth be told). I simply called it “the bourbon, ginger, honey, lemon thing” or some similarly explanatory name.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a big old geek, and an avid larper. This cocktail found its name at an in-play social event for a game I play called Dust to Dust. As a social event, there wasn’t any combat, but instead, we were able to drink, and I decided to bring a few things so I could put together a handful of cocktails. One of my friends and teammate took to this drink with a passion, so much so that I thought it only fitting to name it for his character, Epimetheus, a simple seeming, but tough homunculus (think Frankenstein’s monster). Much like his character, the drink doesn’t get called by its full name very often, instead usually just being called the Epi. Also, much like my friend, it’s friendly, smooth, sweet, and will put you on your ass if you don’t look out.
To make an Epi of your own, combine the following into an old-fashioned glass with ice:
- 2 parts bourbon
- 1 part Stirrings ginger liqueur
- 3/4 part honey simple syrup
- 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
- the juice of one wedge of lemon
Stir gently to blend and chill the drink, and then enjoy!
Tonight I used Buffalo Trace bourbon, which as you may recall is a staple on my bar and comes at a decent price. I’ve made this drink with several different bourbons, but tend to like it best with relatively smooth, mild bourbons, like Buffalo Trace or Larceny. I’ve talked about the qualities of Stirrings ginger liqueur before, and this is a drink that needs the bite it carries over the other ginger liqueurs I’ve tried. Honey simple syrup, for those unfamiliar, is easily made by combining equal parts honey and water, and heating until they are fully integrated. Another area that I’ve experimented with variations to this recipe, is with the bitters I’ve used. I’m a great lover of Fee Brothers’ Old Fashioned bitters, and have used 4 or 5 other types of bitters in this drink. In the end, this drink really is best with the old staple, Angostura. It gives enough bitterness and a mild bit of spice without overpowering the other ingredients. The lemon, while a very small part of the recipe, is pivotal. Without it the drink is too sweet and comes across as heavy. Too much, and you just have the acid and the bite of the ginger. A single, modest wedge, perhaps an eighth of a medium lemon, gives this just the right amount of brightness and acid.