Frontier Mixology: The Frontier Psychiatrist

Happy New Year!  Far be it from us to suggest a toast, let alone to whom.

That said, in honor of FP’s first year and in gratitude for the platform it has provided for the antique ramblings of your humble cocktail enthusiast, perhaps a raise of the glass with an original, eponymous cocktail?

The Frontier Psychiatrist

1 oz. applejack

1 oz. rye whiskey

½ oz. dry vermouth

¼ oz. Amaro CioCiaro

¼ oz. peach liqueur

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir all madly with ice; strain into a chilled coupe glass, ideally one etched with an Edwardian pattern; enjoy without a twist, preferably with carefully selected musical accompaniment.

The origins of this drink arose from an ambition to use ingredients and proportions that echoed something about FP’s editors and staff.  The basic platform is none other than the Brooklyn, appropriate as so many of us call Kings County home.  Our roots extend beyond the confines of the borough.  As FP’s editors are both intimate with the Garden State, applejack (a.k.a Jersey Lightning) was a must.  It also happens to be one of our favorite mixing spirits.  The Frontier Mixologist, however, hails from Baltimore.  A fact that argues for the inclusion of rye whiskey and bitters, famous brands of which used to be made in Charm City but, alas, are no longer.Lest you think the use of two base spirits is a mere contrivance, a classic cocktail called the Diamondback employs both rye and applejack to delightful effect.  Moreover, the Diamondback was served at the Lord Baltimore hotel and is named for Maryland’s state reptile, the Diamondback Terrapin, natch.

Continuing in this geographical mode, given that our own L.V. Lopez left the pine barrens of New Jersey to spend many a formative year in Georgia, swapping the Brooklyn’s cherry liqueur for peach just made sense.  In fact, barrel-aged peach brandy is a superb, albeit difficult to find, option.  If using peach liqueur, go with an all-natural option; no peach schnapps please.  As for the amaro, the original Brooklyn called for Amer Picon, which is no longer available, but the CioCiaro is a good bet as a substitute and works well here.  Stir the whole damn thing together until you think you’ve stirred too much, strain it into a chilled glass, and enjoy with our best wishes for 2011.

Drink up,

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