Friday Musings: There’s a bad moon on the rise…

Friday Musings: There’s a bad moon on the rise…


Most weekends when I’m getting ready to go out I think to myself “This is going to be a great night.” At that moment, I am the poster child for the Power of Positive Thinking, a total believer in the Law of Attraction. Most weekends. But then there’s that night when I catch my eye in the mirror and I know that something’s up, something just doesn’t feel quite right… It’s not going to be a great night and I should just stay the hell home. And I continue to get ready anyway, carrying on the Go/Don’t Go argument with myself the whole time. It’s at about this point that Creedence Clearwater Revival finds their way into my head: “I see a bad moon a-rising, I see trouble on the way… Don’t go ’round tonight, It’s bound to take your life, There’s a bad moon on the rise.” And then I go anyway. Later that night when I’m on my way home in my Uber car where I will most likely leave my purse or some other important possession (if I haven’t already left them back at the bar) I will shake my head and say “If only I had listened to CCR…”

When John Fogerty wrote Bad Moon Rising he really wasn’t thinking about whether I or anyone else was going to have a good night. What was on his mind back in 1969 was the fact that Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy had just been assassinated and the country was in an absolute state of turmoil. Fogerty has been quoted as saying, “I don’t think I was actually saying the world was coming to an end, but the song was a metaphor. I wasn’t just writing about the weather.” If I can interject just an infinitesimal bit of politics here, there are some of us who are feeling that way again right now. That’s it, that’s all I’ll say. My kids are going to murder me.

In any event, I decided that Bad Moon Rising would be a great name for a cocktail. Since I’m closing out 2 weeks of talking about amari and bitters here on the blog, why not finish up with the granddaddy of them all, Fernet Branca. Fernet is a dark spirit that is like an amaro in its bitterness, and in its 27 ingredient secret recipe, but it’s far less sweet. As for it’s flavor profile, describes it as “being a cross between medicine, crushed plants, and bitter mud.” I couldn’t resist sharing that with you. I’m not sure that I quite agree with this assessment, but I will say that it can definitely be an acquired taste and very challenging to use in a cocktail. I knew it was way out of my league so I brought my idea to the best bartender I know, Mathias Bable from the vegan cocktail bar Charlie was a sinner., my favorite place in the city as you all have heard me say many times. I told him that I wanted a cocktail with Fernet Branca in it and I wanted to call it Bad Moon Rising. The rest was up to him.

Mathias told me he’d have it ready for me to taste in a few days. When I stopped in to see him this past Wednesday he had come up with a mix of ingredients that really wowed me. In addition to the Fernet, he used Bluebird Distilling’s Rye whiskey because it’s assertive enough not to be overpowered, and Graham’s Tawny Port to offset any bitterness. These 3 main ingredients gave the cocktail its deep, dark base, with the lime and ginger providing the lift, the egg white (or vegan substitute in this case) its foamy top, all finished off with just a hint of sweetness from the Prosecco and the bruléed apple garnish. It looked and tasted exactly like what I’d had in mind. He set it down in front of me with a quiet “Boom” and I took one look and thought there it is. There’s a Bad Moon Rising. It was perfect.

Bad Moon Rising created by Mathias Bable, Charlie was a sinner., Philadelphia

¾ oz Bluebird Distilling’s Rye whiskey
¾ oz Graham’s Tawny Port
½ oz Fernet Branca
½ oz fresh lime juice
¼ oz ginger
1 oz egg white (or vegan substitute, like chick pea liquid)
Prosecco to top
Bruléed apple slice to garnish

Shake all the ingredients except for the Prosecco and the apple slice without ice, then add the ice and shake again until the drink is very cold. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass and top with the Prosecco. Garnish with the apple slice. Put on Bad Moon Rising and enjoy!

Have a great weekend everyone! See you all on Monday!!



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 thoughts on “Friday Musings: There’s a bad moon on the rise…

  1. I always hear The Black Eyed Peas
    —“I got a feeling that tonight’s gonna be a goodnight, that tonight’s gonna be a good good night”

Tell me what you think!