You’ve heard, I’m sure, of the sad fact that Alan Rickman died of cancer last week. 69 years on earth, and suddenly he is gone.
Whether you loved him best as Hans Gruber, Severus Snape, the Sheriff of Nottingham, Professor Lazarus, Metatron, Marvin the paranoid android, Judge Turpin, Colonel Brandon, or someone else entirely – solely himself, perhaps – I’m sure you, like me, will miss him.
So here’s a tribute. Raise a glass (or several!) with me.
Severus Snape (modified from Backyard Bartender)
1.5 oz Cruzan Blackstrap Rum (having only Myer’s, I used that)
.5 oz Fernet Branca
.5 oz falernum
dash Peychaud’s bitters (alas, I have no lavender bitters)
dash creme de violette
dash rose syrup
Nancy has a delightful explanation for her Snape concoction (which was the original reason I sought out Fernet Branca and falernum, to be honest). Having no lavender bitters, I attempted to make up the difference with some other floral additions. As she says: strong, dark, complex.
2 oz dill-infused gin
1.5 oz green Chartreuse
spritz of absinthe
.5 oz lime juice
dash chamomile bitters
Stir with ice and strain into an appropriate goblet. This is my nod to the Potions Master and the head of Slytherin House: herbal, complicated, very green, full of venerable spirits. It’s a lot like a Last Word (equal parts gin, Chartreuse, lime, and Maraschino), but sourer.
Severus Snape (alternate)
1.5 oz Cynar
I wondered if perhaps there were a simpler approach to Snape. This is one such attempt, applicable to Sorcerer’s Stone Snape: a straight shot of Cynar, which is a drinkable bitter made from artichokes (ie, instead of an intensity which requires but a few drops in a cocktail, it’s dilute enough to consume on its own). It’s complex, vegetal, dark, and (of course) bitter. An acquired taste, but when you love it, you really love it. Harry Potter, of course, finds Cynar innately suspicious. He would; he’s only 11, after all.
Random potion bonus:
Danger lies before you, while safety lies behind,
Two of us will help you, whichever you would find,
One among us seven will let you move ahead,
Another will transport the drinker back instead,
Two among our number hold only nettle wine,
Three of us are killers, waiting hidden in line.
Choose, unless you wish to stay here forevermore,
To help you in your choice, we give you these clues four:
First, however slyly the poison tries to hide
You will always find some on nettle wine’s left side;
Second, different are those who stand at either end,
But if you would move onward, neither is your friend;
Third, as you see clearly, all are different size,
Neither dwarf nor giant holds death in their insides;
Fourth, the second left and the second on the right
Are twins once you taste them, though different at first sight.
Alexander Dane (as Dr. Lazarus)
1.5 oz cognac
.5 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
.5 oz blue curacao
.25 oz lemon juice
The thinking here was that Dane is Very Serious Business – “I played Richard III!” – not-quite-obscured by something brightly colored and mildly ridiculous. Overall: shiny and enjoyable.
2 oz gin (I used Hendrick’s, but a London Dry would probably be better)
.75 oz lemon juice
.75 oz creme de cassis (blackberry liqueur)
.5 oz St-Germain
dash of plum bitters
I had the idea to make something rather British and proper, but also sweet enough to appeal to those moved chiefly by their sensibility. It turned out to be a bit cloying, so throw in some sturdy Calvados or genever to bolster it: something befitting a man of action, one who needs an occupation lest he run mad.
Alan Rickman himself:
When my roommate and I made Tom Hiddleston cocktails, we found the most difficult one was Tom himself; not having met him, we could only work from a particular face he sometimes presented to the public. The same difficulty attends Alan: by several accounts I’ve read, he was everything kind, generous, funny, and generally delightful (but de mortuis, nil nisi bonum and all that). So Thalia’s suggestion was to capture the unique quality of his striking voice by the use of something dark and deep. The thing that came to mind was scotch. If you’re a purist, sip it straight; if not, try a sort of modified toddy:
1 oz Laphroaig scotch
1/2 oz Drambuie
Fill teacup with hot water
It’s sweet enough not to be totally off-putting, but it is very very strong. The smoky smell spread throughout my dining area and kitchen.
That seemed a bit overwhelming, so taking a cue from my friend Amanda, I tried to go the coffee route:
Alan Rickman (alternate)
1/2 oz Kahlua
1/2 oz Frangelico
1/2 barspoon (ie, 1/4 tsp or so) pimento dram (allspice liqueur)
Ideally this would have been mixed with coffee or espresso, to represent Alan’s liveliness and how engaging he was. But it was quite late by that point, and prudence won out. I hope to have a bit of a film festival before long, and see how a caffeinated version of this fits into it.
Alan, here’s to you. We mourn your passing, but are glad you were there to depict Very Interesting People for a time. You delighted us, and we will miss you. Always.