Since I heard about it, I’ve wanted to try making Jamie Boudreau’s beer liqueur. I haven’t been able to find a suitable Belgium beer for the Dupont Cocktail, but my local Trader Joe’s recently started carrying Kennebunkport Pumpkin Ale, so I decided to give it a try.
By and large, the method worked as detailed, although, contrary to what I had expected, no head actually stayed on the pumpkin ale. On the bright side, this (theoretically) conserved more of the beer; I ended up with a thick, honeyed syrup that retained the malty notes of the ale. I was actually almost disappointed to add the vodka preservative; although it cut the cloying sweetness, it initially added a harsh alcoholic bite that masked some of the ale’s flavor. I actually blame myself for this, partially, as I used the cheapest vodka I had on hand, which turned out to be Smirnoff (actually, I’m not positive that Three Olives, which I inherited a bottle of a few months ago, is significantly more expensive.) I’ve said before that most vodka tastes about the same, but I may have to revise that: Smirnoff, in taste tests I’ve done with friends, has a sort of mild “hospital” taste that some (even cheaper) vodkas like Svedka lack.
Overall, however, the syrup was a resounding success; hats off to Mr. Boudreau for suggesting it. Since I had no tequila on hand for the Don Enrique or La Familia cocktails, I paired the pumpkin liqueur with bourbon and Chartreuse.
The resulting cocktail had a Manhattan-esque quality to it (hence the name: Peter Minuit famously purchased Manhattan Island for $24 in trade goods–albeit from a tribe with no rights to the island), but the Chartreuse added an earthy flavor that complemented the bourbon and liqueur. The pumpkin and malt notes were subtle, but present.
2 oz Evan Williams Black Label bourbon
1 oz pumpkin ale liqueur
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
Stir on ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a bourbon or maraschino cherry.
Evan Williams, my default mixing bourbon, is a little sweet for this cocktail; a rye like Rittenhouse, actually, would probably be ideal.