Earlier this month, my housemate Cecilia requested of all and sundry that someone bring Tom Hiddleston to her. Since none of us have made his acquaintance (and since honor demands that another friend meet him first, should it ever depend on me), the best thing I could offer was a Hiddleston-inspired cocktail.
So we set to work. The first item of business was asking “If Tom Hiddleston were a drink, what would he be?” Our Facebook friends were delightfully forthcoming:
Something proper and classic, but also playful.
Obviously mead given his asgardian roots.
It would have to involve gin.
Something that makes you raise your eyebrows and go ‘daaang’.
a gin and tonic with extra lime for that dazzle that gives little playful dollop to a classic beverage.
Something tall and delicious.
The two of us also brainstormed a fair bit: we wanted something classy and elegant, appropriately British, sweet, strong, a little fruity or perhaps a little nutty. Then Cecilia said “Fun, but with an edge; a little bit crazy,” and I wondered if we were still talking about Tom or if we’d conflated him with his various roles.
In the end, we decided that the best thing to do was to create a drink based on Tom himself, then a few others based on our favorite characters he’s played. I hauled bottle after bottle up from the basement, consulting Cecilia on the smell of each spirit and liqueur we proposed to combine. Here’s what we came up with:
1.5 oz gin (Beefeater)
.75 oz St-Germain
.75 oz Pama
Dash orange bitters
Champagne to top in a wineglass (4-5 oz)
Verdict: appropriately sparkling; good and all, but more formal; not quite a pajama party or anything.
We tried adding ½ a tablespoon of Fee’s grenadine. Adding some sweetness was a good idea, but it turned out to be too much; this whole recipe needs some work.
3 oz champagne
1 oz green crème de menthe
Serve in champagne flute; garnish with mint sprig
Verdict: This was mostly an excuse to use up some champagne as well as the incredibly green crème de menthe. It’s powerfully minty, which makes it seem boozier than it really is. It’s not that crazy, but the mint sprig adds the touch of slipping into the drinker’s face, as if to holler “LOKI’D!”
.75 oz green Chartreuse
.5 oz lime juice
.25 oz Maraschino liqueur
.25 oz simple syrup
¼ tsp absinthe
Stir gently and strain into cocktail glass.
Verdict: This is a paler green, but comes much closer to the “crazier than a bag of cats” taste we were going for. It’s very similar to a Last Word, but removes the gin and adds the anise taste of absinthe. I was well satisfied.
1.5 oz vodka
.25 oz Campari
.25 oz Amaretto
.25 oz Cherry Heering
.25 oz syrup
Stir in a martial fashion and strain into cocktail glass. Sip while looking down your nose at the rabble.
Verdict: It was quite as red as we hoped for; the strength of the vodka, bitterness of the Campari, and some visual allusion to all the blood covering Coriolanus were our chief goals. In addition, since we were surprised by how sympathetic all the characters were in the Donmar Warehouse production, we added the syrup and liqueurs to make it go down a bit more easily.
2 oz Laird’s Old Apple Brandy
1 oz complex syrup*
.7 oz lemon juice
1 dash old fashioned bitters
Shake, strain, and garnish with a sage leaf.
*Boil a cup or so of sugar and water with sage, thyme, and rosemary for remembrance; strain and cool before use.
Verdict: This is something of a modified Sidecar, made with ingredients that evoked a much more rural England of centuries past. Cecilia declared that it was “more Kenneth than Tom because of the sourness/bitterness.” I declared that we had had enough to drink.
…then shall our names, Familiar in his mouth as household words – Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester – Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.