While most bloggers are posting their favorite Labor Day libations to help readers celebrate, we decided to take care of all your hangovers by featuring medicinal cocktails created by none other than three-time cocktail book author, Mr. Warren Bobrow. While I’m looking forward to getting my hands on Warren’s upcoming book, Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails, let’s talk about two revivers from Warren’s collection, Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today.
Everyone knows I love to pull out my decoctions, herbs and spices when creating drinks of all kinds. Warren says the same- he seems to have created a cocktail for “whatever ails you” in this collection. I’ve added Warren’s recipe for Lemon Balm Syrup and Cardamom Simple Syrup to my pantry- they’ve made their way into macaroons, a gin cocktail and over lemon sorbet so far!
But here’s the scoop- I was super impressed with Warren’s brief history of herbal healing considering my background in integrative and plant-based medicine. He did a wonderful job offering readers an accurate, yet fun tale of how curatives were originally developed in early pharmacies and apothecaries. He points out that before modern medicine was widely available, “ordinary” people had little access to doctors so pharmacists did double duty as dispensers of advice and healing remedies. Many pharmacists maintained culinary gardens growing herbs, vegetables, spices and flowers to be used for plant-based pharmaceuticals… that were prepared with copious amounts of you guessed it, alcohol!
There’s something to be said about regulating the medicines of our current day, but bringing the past forward to improve on it is the stuff that modern culinary creators are today. I’m really enjoying getting to know Warren- an exceptional innovator of culinary and herbally-based cocktails; my favorite. And, like any polite, talented and intuitive barkeep, if you happen to pull up a seat at Warren’s bar, he’ll know exactly what you need!
If you’re feeling under the weather this weekend and need reviving, try Warren’s Gin and Coconut Ice With Seltzer or The Cocktail Whisperer’s Painkilling System #200 with Garden Eats’ selected ingredients. Let us know how you felt after refreshing!
The Cocktail Whisperer’s Painkilling System #200
Sailors of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were well aware of rum’s power as a painkiller. Here, fresh citrus juices balance out two types of rum, while orgeat (almond) syrup and a dash of coconut milk add sweetness and richness. Apothecaries would have known that a dash of nutmeg could act as an appetite stimulant. Here, a dash of the freshly grated spice reinvigorates tired taste buds with a flourish. My Painkilling System #200 is pretty powerful, though. In the wrong hands, the cure may be worse than the affliction. Stick to a single dose-or two, at most.
What You’ll Need
- 3 ounces (90 ml) dark rum
- 1 ounce (30 ml) 140-proof rum
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) organic almond syrup
- 1/2 ounce (15 ml) sweetened organic coconut milk
- 2 ounces (60 ml) fresh pineapple juice
- 2 ounces (60 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 ounces (60 ml) freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- Harmless Harvest coconut water ice cubes
- 4 dashes Urban Moonshine orange bitters
- Freshly grated nutmeg
Putting It All Together
Fill a Boston shaker three-quarters full with plain ice. Combine all the liquid ingredients over the ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Fill a tall glass half full with crushed ice made from the coconut ice cubes, and strain the mixture into the glass. Garnish with a pineapple spear and a dusting of fresh nutmeg. Sip until pain free.
Gin and Coconut Ice With Seltzer
What You’ll Need
- Coconut-water ice cubes (we suggest Harmless Harvest coconut water bc it’s raw). Simply freeze in ice cube trays overnight
- 2 ounces (60 ml) botanical gin
- 1 ounce (30 ml) simple syrup
- 2 drops Bitter End Thai Bitters
- 1 1/2 ounces (45 ml) seltzer water
- Sprig of Thai or regular basil the simple syrup.
Putting It All Together
Fill a tall glass with the coconut water ice cubes. Pour the gin over them, followed by the simple syrup. Shake a couple drops of bitters into the glass and top with seltzer. Garnish with a single sprig of basil- gently crush to release its fragrant oils.
This drink is especially soothing for a hot weather hangover!
W A R R E N is the author of the upcoming book, Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails, Whiskey Cocktails: Rediscovered Classics and Contemporary Craft Drinks and Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today. His work has appeared in the Williams Sonoma blog, Foodista and Edible Jersey. He also serves on the advisory board for Mutineer Magazine.
Watch for his new book, but in the meantime, go score yourself a copy of the aptly travel-sized Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today!