Thursday, February 4, 2021

Winter Clove Cocktail (Diford's Guide)


Clove, that quintessential winter spice, is one of the few ingredients that can be infused on the spot to make for a richer cocktail. This recipe from Difford's Guide simply says to combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass and stir, and it works. You can really taste the cloves!

This was one of those after dinner drinks that really demonstrates how an all liquor cocktail can be balanced and deep at the same time. I emphasize balance because it is a balancing act of proportions to not blow this cocktail out with sweet mandarin liqueur or smoky scotch.

Chocolate bitters are a necessity here, and though these Aztec bitters are a little loaded with cinnamon compared to what Difford's specifies, I felt that the spice pulled the flavors together. If you have the bitters and the other ingredients you should do this cocktail. If you don't have the ingredients, (you can get away with triple sec instead of Mandarine Napoleon, it's hard to find everywhere) go out and get them this winter. You won't be sorry.

  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 1/3 oz. cognac (Martell single distillery used)
  • 2/3 oz. Mandarine Napoleon (homemade used)
  • 1/6 oz. (1 tsp.) Islay single malt (Ardbeg 10 used)
  • 3 dashes chocolate bitters (Fee Brothers Aztec used)
  • orange zest twist

Combine cloves and liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass (snifter pictured) and garnish with the zest.

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