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Day 215, Cocktails 209, 210 & 211

Ahh, the day after Thanksgiving.  It’s Black Friday (a day that sounds like the plague) and like lemmings, Gwen and I got up at 5:40 to head to the local Menard’s for their 6am opening and a $100 TV.  We figured who would be at a home improvement store that early?  Well, as we drove up, the parking lot was full and the line at the door extended for several hundred feet.  We kept right on driving and went back home.  Thus, for the 3rd time now I’ll again vow to never shop on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

The day after Thanksgiving also means putting up the exterior decorations.  (The inside stuff is also going up, but that takes Gwen the whole weekend and then some).  It was a brisk, but sunny day as I pulled out the lights and ladders.  With Cookie’s help we banged it out in just a couple of hours and then admired the lights from the curb after it got dark.  It’s my first year replacing my old fashioned C9 bulbs with LED C9 bulbs.  I know I’ll save a ton of electricity, but they are just not the same.  I’m sure I’ll get used to them, it’ll just take some time.

With the lights up and a movie on after dinner, it was time for a cocktail.  Since I had just finished putting up the outdoor lights, Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold seemed like the perfect inspiration for a new drink.  Bourbon seemed like the ideal base.  Remember the scene after the squirrel attack when Clark asks his dad how he got through the holidays and his answer was that he had a lot of help from his friend Jack?  Well, I don’t have Jack but I do have bourbon.  But what to add with it?  Peach is a flavor that works well with bourbon.  I tried a mix of 2 oz Maker’s Mark, 1 oz Stirrings peach liqueur and a dash of Peychaud’s bitters.  Hmmm, even Gwen thought that this was too sweet.  We also agreed that this wasn’t very emblematic of Clark.  This one will go back in the hopper and I’ll play around with it in the future.

So, what would a Clark Griswold taste like.  We batted around a few ideas and decided it would be cherry and chocolate flavors.  Back to mixing I went and tried 2 oz Maker’s Mark, 1/2 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur and 1/4 oz Kahlua.  I know, Kahlua is coffee flavored, but it ends up tasting like chocolate to me when mixed with bourbon.  I tested this out on Gwen and she though the maraschino was too strong and that it was still too sweet.  I enjoyed it (big suprise there) but did agree that the maraschino overpowered the rest of the drink.

The third time was the charm.

  Clark Griswold

  • 2 oz Maker’s Mark bourbon
  • 3/8 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • 1/4 oz Kahlua

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.  Garnish with a cherry.

We both enjoyed this one.  Even my mom thought it was good.  Just the right blend of bourbon with cherry and chocolate overtones from the maraschino and Kahlua.  So now every time we watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation we’ll be able to enjoy our very own Clark Griswold.

Cheers!

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