Derailer Cocktail

derailerCredit for this drink goes directly to Podnah’s Pit where it was created and where I and the Hop Boxer found it.

First of the basic recipe.

1.5 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
1 oz Creme de Cassis
0.5 oz Lime Juice
4 oz Ginger Beer

As presented you want to put your lime, jameson and cassis in your shaker, strain into your highball or collins glass and then top with ginger beer.

Not terribly complicated, it follows the standard 2/1/1 format for most “classic” cocktails.

This drink comes into the category of Buck Cocktails or Mules which are really just spirit + citrus + ginger beer.

I’ve gone over some Options for what to use as your ginger beer selection.

There are any number of fine bottled options, find one that has the amount of bite you enjoy and stick with it.  I’m fine with Cock n’ Bull but if Bundaberg is around in the store I’ll snag a 4 pack of that as it’s a nice midpoint between Cock n’ Bull and Reeds.

If you want to use Ginger Syrup I have found that a dilution of about 4 to 1 is pretty standard so 1 oz syrup to 4 oz club soda.  You can play with that if you want but it comes out pretty strong otherwise and you don’t really want the sugar in the syrup to overshadow the cassis.

Some notes about the drink itself:

I don’t personally think that the brand of whiskey involved makes much of a difference here but I think type plays a role.  Jameson is an Irish Whiskey which is going to be very different in flavor profile than say a Bourbon or a Tennessee Whiskey like Jack Daniels.  Scotch is wasted in this drink so don’t bother with anything there.  I think part of the draw on Jameson is that it lacks many of the smokey characteristics of some other whiskey and is smooth enough to work well in the drink.   Additionally it’s one of the few Irish whiskey’s you’re likely to find in a smaller bar.

For those not familiar with Creme de Cassis it is a liqueur flavored with black currants.  This is a fruit not many people have any experience with as they haven’t been actively cultivated in the US for several decades.  Their commercial cultivation was banned in the 1900’s and that ban has only slowly been lifted by a few US states, Oregon among them.  So the liqueur is a bit more common in Europe and is generally imported.  Locally Clear Creek makes a very lovely Cassis Liqueur which runs about $22.50 for a 375ml.  I’ve seen them in a number of liquor stores around the area so they aren’t hard to find they’re just not always in the same spot as the Creme de Cassis which you can generally find in fifths for $9-13.  The major differences in the two are usually sweetness and tartness.  The price on clear creek’s Cassis is higher but it is worth it for having a non-artificial taste and a very natural tartness.

One last deviation from the norm, I concocted a version I call the light-railer which swaps the Jameson and Cassis for Eastside Distilling Marionberry Whiskey.  It loses a bit of the tartness but the flavor profile of Eastside’s whiskey stands up a bit better in the cocktail and you get a much clearer whiskey flavor without a lot of extra oak barrel getting into the drink.

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