And some are just downright sinful. Cinnful, to be exact.
I first had this strawberry and cinnamon cocktail at my bachelorette party, as we hopped from restaurant to restaurant, ordering little bites and interesting sips. The description of this particular drink, however, sounded mildly revolting, and I stuck with a glass of bubbly at one of my favorite places in Memphis, Alchemy. My sister was a bit braver and ordered what they call the “Ruby Slipper” and exclaimed in delight, sip after sip. I tried a bit and was floored. How was it possible that strawberries, cinnamon whiskey, and lemon could blend so positively brilliantly? The combination was warm yet light and fruit, bright yet cozy. In other words? Utter perfection.
I knew I try my own hand at the concoction, and when strawberry season hit, I went a bit wild.. and I’m sure the guys at the liquor store thought I was an absolute nutcase. Strawberries aren’t exactly in season now, but I wanted to share this recipe before we trade our vibrant cocktails for red wine and mulled cider for the season. Yet the thing about this drink? You could drink it all year round, and its most seasonally appropriate asset would step forward and announce itself naturally.
But be careful – these are potent! And I, at least, can knock them back like candy.
- 1 1/2 ounce cinnamon whiskey (I recommend Fireball - more cinnamon, less whiskey flavor than the other cinnamon whiskeys, I've heard)
- 1 ounce Grand Marnier (don't skimp on the cheap stuff here!)
- 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1 ounce strawberry purée*
- simple syrup , optional**
- 1 ounce soda water
- *Strawberry purée:
- Blend one pint of strawberries in a high-speed blender until very smooth , adding a bit of water if necessary to thin out (should not be necessary with fresh strawberries but might be a good idea with frozen)
- **Simple syrup: combine equal parts water and granulated sugar in a saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is totally dissolved. Let cool and store in airtight container in refrigerator.
Combine cinnamon whiskey, Grand Marnier, lemon juice, strawberry purée with ice in a cocktail shaker. Add simple syrup to taste, if desired. Shake vigorously and pour over the rocks or into a stemmed cocktail glass. Top with soda and serve.