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You’ll shoot your eye out, kid

As promised, this is going to be my second (and final for a while) post of festive, holiday cocktails.  Last time we did Dale Degroff’s Royal Gingersnap.  This time we are going to do one from the December, 2011 issue of Imbibe Magazine called “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out”.  This one violates several of my rules;  it is a new avant garde “mixologist” invented cocktail and it has an infused ingredient likely to be used in no other drink before going bad.  In it’s favor, it also violates the rule that new avant garde “mixologist” invented cocktails must suck.  We actually decided to give it a whirl because it also contains the Czech liqueur Becherovka, which we just happened to have on the bar (I love screwball liqueurs).  Sufficiently impressed, we decided to make it the cocktail de la soirée for our lab’s Christmas party.

As to the name, “It’s perfect for a cold winter night spent watching a holiday flick, which is exactly what I pictured when I named it after a scene in A Christmas Story.” Mathias Simonis, the drink’s creator and mixologist at Distil in Milwaukee is quoted by way of explanation in the Imbibe article.   A funny story in that vein.  The day after Christmas last year, my wife and I were going to be picking up my sister in Milwaukee and decided we should check out Distil.  Mr. Simonis was even behind the bar that night.  Well, a You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out might be the perfect drink on ” cold winter night spent watching a holiday flick [at home]”, but it wasn’t to be had at Distil that night.  He said he didn’t have one of the ingredients; I assume it was the cinnamon syrup because I can’t imagine ever running out of Becherovka once you have a bottle.   Still, be had a nice supper and a couple of great drinks (an Old Fashion and a Pegu Club-B got the short straw and had to drive).  So, if you find yourself in Milwaukee, I’d definitely suggest checking out Distil.

You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out

  • 2 oz. aged rum
  • 1/2 oz. Becherovka
  • 1/2 oz. Benedictine
  • 1/4 oz. cinnamon syrup (see below)
  • 3 dashes orange bitters

Combine all the ingredients with ice and stir well.  Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist.

Cinnamon Syrup

In a cast iron skillet, toast 5 cinnamon sticks on both sides over medium heat until you smell the cinnamon (a few minutes).  Remove from the pan.  Bring 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil, stirring frequently.  Once the syrup comes to a boil, add the toasted cinnamon sticks, remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.  Remove the cinnamon sticks and store in refrigerator for up to a month or two.

This drink’s sweet cinnamon and orange flavors are successfully counterbalance by a lot of other complex herbal flavors from Becherovka, Benedictine and bitters.   Everyone at the party said they like it, and since there glasses were empty, I think we can take them at their word.  So for festive holiday drink, You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out is a crowd pleaser.


PS.  The picture in the background is on of my brother-in-law, Thomas‘s that he gave to B for her birthday in November.  Thanks.

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