Last weekend, I spent Saturday night with the good people at Waning Gibbous Games for the launch party of their recently Kickstarted game Larceny. Larceny is a fast paced card game that asks the players to plan the perfect (or at times the most hilarious) heist. The designer is one of my oldest friends, and my darling wife did the card and box illustration, so I feel pretty tied into this game and I have been lucky enough to see it come into being; from the raw idea being talked about around the game table, to being part of play testing, and all the way up to seeing the final product being boxed up to be shipped to all the loyal backers.
So, amidst stacks of boxes, we gathered at the Waning Gibbous Games headquarters for some much deserved celebration and merry-making (as well as box stuffing so we could get the eagerly awaited games out to the backers). For the night, I was asked to create a signature drink, and ended up with two recipes that the owner and I decided both met the cut.
The Fix is, at its core, a Manhattan riff. I wanted to create a drink that captured the feel of the game, and using the Manhattan as a jumping off point just felt right. I went in a sweeter direction with this cocktail to open it up to a wider audience, but still keep it feeling like a serious business cocktail. Replacing the rye whiskey of a traditional Manhattan with bourbon started taking the drink in the sweeter direction, and adding amaretto to the mix took it the rest of the way, and made it stand out. In the end, the recipe turned out as:
- 1.5 parts bourbon (fittingly, we used Larceny bourbon, which is a solid mixing bourbon)
- 0.5 parts sweet vermouth
- 0.5 parts amaretto
- 3-4 dashes of Angostura bitters
The ingredients were shaken briefly with ice and served up, then garnished with a maraschino cherry and a small lemon peel.
A phrase lifted from the 1940’s book, The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man, the Thieves’ Blood came from the experiments that eventually resulted in The Fix. I was playing around with the idea of replacing the vermouth with port, but abandoned that idea in the final recipe of The Fix. In talking about potential names with the owner of Waning Gibbous Games, he mentioned the phrase “Thieves’ Blood” as how one defines larceny in the aforementioned text. The name struck me, and I thought back to the port experiment, and played with it until I hit on this surprisingly light, sweet, deep red drink.
- 1.5 parts port
- 1 part amaretto
- 0.5 parts bourbon
- 2-3 dashes of Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Bitters
All ingredients are combined over ice, topped up with soda water, and stirred. Garnish with an orange peel to help bring forward some of the spicy flavors of the port and bitters.