Gunner’s Libation: The Clean Slate
11/2 ounces Ciroc Amaretto Vodka
1 ounce St. Germain
1 ounce Cherry Heering
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 ounce apple-cinnamon simple syrup*
Garnish: Sugar and edible gold flake rim
In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients except Champagne, shake vigorously. Double strain into chilled white wine glass rimmed with gold flakes and sugar.
Top with Champagne.
*Apple-Cinnamon Syrup: Cut four apples and remove the core. Boil them in 21/2 cups of water until they are soft and stewed.
Add 2 cinnamon sticks and stir for 10 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups of sugar and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes. Drain and double strain the syrup. You can also blend the apples and cinnamon sticks for a sweetened apple cinnamon puree to use in other cocktails.
When it comes to New Year’s, I tend to avoid making resolutions. A few year’s back, though, I recall saying something to the effect of starting the year “with a clean slate.” Now I’m not 100 percent sure what my intention was, but I am 100 percent sure I did not meet all my goals (who ever does?). I also recall a cocktail earning accolades around the same time with a fitting name: The Clean Slate. Created by Las Vegas bartender Cody Fredrickson back in 2013, this drink is a nice balance of flavors that begins with Ciroc amaretto vodka — a cherry-almond infusion that has a hint of vanilla. In The Clean Slate, Fredrickson paired that with elderflower (one of my all-time favorites) and cherry liqueurs as well as a housemade apple-cinnamon syrup. Topped with some bubbyly and bligned up with a golden sugar rim, it screams New Year’s Eve — and good intentions for the year ahead.
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