There are certain matches that are made in heaven: Lucy and Ethel, Sonny and Cher, dark beers and me… Yes yes, I have become a huge fan of brown ales, porters, and stouts during this learning process. I find them to be super smooth and very easy to drink, unlike IPAs (dare I say it?) that often end up giving me the hiccups. Is that an indication that I’m an amateur beer drinker? Quite possibly. Does that mean I get thrown out of the club? I really hope not. Although I kicked off this series with a Porter that had been aged on Palo Santo wood, I decided to look for another one this week that had been infused with additional flavors after brewing. As it turns out, Evil Genius Beer Co. right here in Philadelphia makes an American-style porter that has chocolate and peanut butter flavors added in. Talk about a match made in heaven! Think Reese’s Peanut Butter cups or Tastycake Peanut Butter Tandycakes. If it was appropriate to insert heart-eye emojis into this post right now, you can bet that I would. Porters already have lots of chocolate and molasses notes to them anyway, so it makes sense that The Purple Monkey Dishwasher (no explanation for that name) is described by the brewery as “a candy bar in a glass.”
For today’s cocktail, I decided that this beer had enough personality to try it in an equal parts drink. I immediately thought of bourbon for my base spirit, but I was having some difficulty coming up with what to use as the third component. The cocktail felt boozy enough already, but it still needed a deep, dark flavor that could stand up to the other two. The peanut butter chocolate combination with the sweetness of the bourbon made me think of a dessert my mom would make for us in batches when the kids were little. It was a version of Peanut Butter Tandycakes that was made in a baking dish and then cut into little squares. I’d have mine with coffee after dinner. Would coffee work as the third ingredient in this drink? I decided to give it a try. I had a bottle of Lucky Jack Nitro cold-brewed coffee that I’d picked up at MOM’s Organic Market with the intention of trying it in a cocktail. Here was my chance. The flavors worked perfectly together, with each one having definite presence, and the cocktail had nice balance to it. It needed just a a barspoon of simple syrup and some bitters to finish it off. I decided to use a demerara simple to echo the rich flavors in this drink, and a combination of DRAM Black and Citrus Medica bitters that contributed both warmth and brightness. You could substitute old-fashioned and orange bitters if you don’t have the DRAM products on hand. The final result was a cocktail that was like a combination of an Old-Fashioned and a Negroni, bourbon-based, but made in equal parts. Cheers everyone. Happy Wednesday!
Peanut Butter Cup Negroni?
1½ oz Buffalo Trace bourbon
1½ oz Evil Genius Purple Monkey Dishwasher
1½ oz Lucky Jack Nitro Cold-Brewed coffee
1 barspoon demerara simple syrup (1:1 ratio sugar in the raw and water)
2 dashes DRAM Apothecary Black bitters
1 dash DRAM Apothecary Citrus Medica bitters
Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir until very cold. Strain into an old-fashioned glass over one large cube and garnish with a brandied cherry. Enjoy!
DRAM products are available online or at the Art In The Age store on N. 3rd St. in Philadelphia.