After tasting this amazing creation (Why bother with false modesty? This is one of my more brilliant creations.), I asked friends and family to help me name it.
The occasion for the invention of this cocktail is Christmas dinner at my mother-in-law’s, with my husband and his four brothers and all of our many merry offspring. I went into my liquor cabinet in search of inspiration, and I came out with the flavours of apple and ginger, which felt wintery and warm but not too literal a take on Christmas. I’ve had a bottle of Stone’s Green Ginger Wine that I’ve long wanted to experiment with, some Sour Puss Apple that needed a new reason for being, and a lovely Quebec Ice Cider, Le Pedneault. I used an ounce of each, added a dash of Dillon’s Ginger Bitters, and, magic!
This cocktail turned out perfectly on the very first try. It was A Gift of the Magi. It was a Ginger Snap. I heard the angels singing and Ginger Bells ringing. It went down so easily, it was a Ginger Sleigh Ride. The perfect drink for a cold and Cider Night when Ginger Spirits might be abroad.
All great ideas for this nameless cocktail. (Thanks, friends and family!)
Another name came to me at the rink the day after I made it, where my rinkside read was A is for Arsenic: The Poisons in Agatha Christie. (Note to self, do not confuse notes from A is for Arsenic with notes for cocktail inspiration. Just a thought.) The epigraph to the chapter on Monkshood is from King Henry IV, Part 2
And thou shalt prove a shelter to thy friends,A hoop of gold to bind thy brothers in
“A shelter to thy friends, a hoop of gold to bind thy brothers in.” What could be more apt for golden-hued cocktail before a holiday meal with brothers? And, lo, a cocktail was born and named.
Hoop of Gold
1 oz Stone’s Green Ginger
1 oz Sour Puss Apple
1 oz Ice Cider (I used Le Pedneault)
a few dashes of Dillon’s Small Batch Ginger Bitters
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Nick and Nora.