Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Nightmare and Nightmare Abbey (Revisited)


The Nightmare cocktail with its unusual mix of gin, Madiera and cherry brandy rises again from the recesses of lost cocktail lore. I've found no mention as to why the drink has this name. Nor is there a satisfying origin story that explains the darkness of this creation. For this iteration, I modernized it a little and tried to fit it into a Halloween theme.

The Nightmare is good; a wine and rich cherry brandy-forward kind of drink provided you use a dry gin like Roku as I did. This is a modern tasting gin with green tea and cherry blossom flavors. These play well with the aromatics of the drink. I also decided that the teaspoon of orange juice gave me license to make a bat-shaped orange twist garnish. This isn't hard with a little artistic vision and a sharp knife. I might have gotten carried away, but I encourage you to do so as well. It's not everyday we get to enjoy a nightmare.
  • 2 oz. gin (Roku used)
  • 1 oz. Madeira (a rainwater medium recommended)
  • 1 oz. Cherry Heering
  • 1 tsp. fresh squeezed orange juice
  • bat-shaped orange zest
Combine all liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir (yes, Stir! This drink looks better without cloudiness of shaking) and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the bat-shaped zest.

Nightmare Abbey:

It stands to reason that the unusual addition of Madiera in a drink like the Nightmare would have a derivative using Dubonnet Rouge, the bittersweet French wine aperitif with the bold red color. This drink very nearly approximates a mashup of the Abbey cocktail and the Nightmare but uses the Dubonnet in place of the Lillet Blanc.

It also turns out that this drink might be named after the 19th century Gothic comedy novel by the same name. There's something appropriate about a rich, red cherry and wine cocktail. Here, MurLarkey's ImaGination, even in its small proportion, stands out as herbaceous and bitter behind all that sweetness. 
  • 1 1/2 oz. Dubonnet Rouge
  • 1 oz. gin (ImaGination used)
  • 1/2 oz. Cherry Heering 
  • 1 oz. orange juice (pulp free recommended)
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

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Thanks for your interest in my Jolly Bartender project. I will do my best to respond as quickly as possible to your request or comment. If you would like to contact me about bartending for your event or setting up a home bar, write to me at nathanwilkinson04@yahoo.com