Blending the world of art with one very stylish cocktail
A canvas captures imagination, moments and emotions. But unaware to most people, a canvas captures the art of alcohol. Yes, there are arrangements of cocktails inspired and created by artists such as Salvador Dali. His cocktail titled “The Casanova” is a brandy based cocktail “appropriate when circumstances such as exhaustion, overwork or simply excess of sobriety are calling for a pick-me-up”.
Although there are many cocktails inspired from Dali to Picasso, there is a special cocktail served at the Flying Squirrel inspired by Elliott Daingerfield’s artwork, “Horse and Rider”.
The Flying Squirrel sought to create an art inspired cocktail for their second Cocktails in Color event at the Hunter Museum. In other words, a cocktail that would capture the mysterious dark colors associated with Daingerfield’s paintings.
“Horse and Rider” is the painting that inspired the cocktail “Alone in the Woods”. The painting incorporates a very blue sky and a horseman in red with a dark brown and black backdrop.
When asked to build a drink around this painting, a participant at the event replied “A folktale bar set not far from the woods—a 150 year old bar with class.” This is what “Alone in the Woods” aims to capture—the time period, the mood, and the environment of the artwork.
“Alone in the Woods” is a whiskey based cocktail (Four Roses Bourbon to be exact) with chocolate malts, a dash of black cherry juice and walnut liquor, then finished with a flamed Orange garnish.
I had the opportunity to speak with Kaleena Goldsworthy, a local bartender from the Flying Squirrel, to find out how this art inspired cocktail was whipped up. “We had to think outside the box. We’d never used malts before so we used dark chocolate brewing malts. This is what people use to brew homemade beer. Dark chocolate malts infused with Four Roses Bourbon and we let that sit for twelve hours.
“Afterwards, we get this really chocolatey, coffee-y bite, but still a smoky taste to it. It mellows out the whiskey, and we mix that with a bit of walnut liquor, black cherry juice, and flamed orange. You get a nice charcoal, singed, citrus scent on the nose,” she explained.
With the dark surrounding colors mixed with splashes of blues and red, the concept the Flying Squirrel accomplishes in their cocktail would certainly make Mr. Daingerfield proud. “The black cocktail is balanced with the splash of color from the orange,” were Kaleena’s last words before she began pouring bottles for an eventful night.
This cocktail is one of many inspired by whimsical artwork. In times of “exhaustion, overwork, or simply excess of sobriety,” why not head down to the Flying Squirrel for one of their signature house cocktails?
Better yet, test your art appreciation by whipping up your own Casanova. In the words of Dali, “beauty should be edible” or in this case “drinkable”.
The Casanova Cocktail
- Orange Juice from 1 orange
- 1 tablespoon of bitters (Campari)
- 1 teaspoon of ginger
- 4 tablespoons of brandy
- 2 tablespoons old brandy
- (Vieille Cure)
- 1 pinch of Cayenne pepper
At the bottom of a glass, combine pepper and ginger. Pour the bitters on top, then brandy and “Vieille Cure”. Refrigerate or even put in the freezer. Thirty minutes later, remove from the freezer and stir the juice of the orange into the glass. Drink…and wait for the effect: it is rather speedy.