Creating a good cocktail is tough, making it popular is even tougher. There are currently thousands of very talented bartenders around the world who take their profession seriously. Many have honed their skills so they can mix high proof spirits with bitter components to make a worthwhile cocktail, which is no easy task. Once you have a good cocktail, how do you make it popular? That’s actually the hardest part, but with enough publicity, anything is possible.
The inspiration for this post came from Max La Rocca (Listen to the Ice) when he sent me a message to promote his idea of making the Irish Mermaid a modern classic. A few years ago I had a similar idea to develop a cocktail by committee with CSOWG and have everyone (the bloggers) promote it to see if the cocktail would “stick”. But like the Spruce Goose, the idea never took off. So when Max sent me his cocktail, and the goal, it made perfect sense to me.
As mentioned, most bartenders who take their profession seriously can create a good cocktail, but often times those cocktails have short life spans. They exist on menu’s for a few months, maybe a few years, only to fade away when the next great drink comes along. Sometimes the recipe gets published in a newspaper or book but that still is not enough to make it popular. To make a cocktail popular you need to get it into as many people’s hands as possible.
So here is my contribution to making a good cocktail more popular.
As per Max’s post: “the name “Mermaid” pays homage to the statue of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen which is where Cherry Heering liqueur comes from.”
The name does lend itself to modifications, which is always good for a cocktail. For example, if you substitute Canadian whisky you’ll have a Canadian Mermaid, if you sub in Bourbon you’ll have an American Mermaid and if you put Scotch in it, you’ll have an Ugly Mermaid. Ba-da-dump. Seriously, put a lime in a Scottish guy’s single malt and tell me if the result is pretty.
35 ml Irish Whiskey
10 ml Cherry Heering
10 ml Aperol
5 ml Orgeat
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Garnish with Brandied Black Cherries cooked and reduced into Cherry Heering (if you find nice brandied cherries or Luxardo Maraschino black cherries is fine too, as long as they’re not the cheap red plastic ones)
The Irish Mermaid is a good cocktail. It’s balanced, complex and no single component dominates, though all are present if you look for them. It’s also approachable to the cocktail neophyte, but won’t bore a student of the hipster school of mixology. If you like Manhattan’s, you’ll like this. There is also an odd similarity to the Filby Cocktail, which is another cocktail I’ve spent time try to revive. And actually, the Irish Mermaid and Filby Cocktail would make great menu mates.
Why a teacup? Well, Max started serving this cocktail during tea time so I thought it might be interesting to put the drink in a fine crystal coffee/tea cup. Drinking a cocktail in a glass with a handle instead of a stem is quite likeable, I might start drinking more cocktails this way.