The nose, the palate, the finish — it's a corn-lover's dream. I purchased it for the restaurant a few months back. Surely, I wasn't expecting a rush on the bar, a throng of kernel-lovers beating down our door to get at it, but I was disappointed to see the demand (and the awareness) as small as it's been.
So, as with any relatively-unknown, beautifully-produced — but sadly neglected — artisan spirit, the surest way to the top is on the coveted cocktail page.
Any salesman or saleswoman in the spirits business knows this, and will claw their way over the bar, agree to wash dishes in the back, offer to walk your dog so you can enjoy a seven-day cruise in the Caribbean, anything to get their product in a cocktail. It's the gateway for any spirit to hit the tipping point of public brand awareness.
I've known this, and my crew of crack mixologists and I have benn hammering away at how to incorporate the Glen Thunder into a drink that will sing and be welcomed back at the table for seconds.
Last night, I think I cracked the code.
A cocktail's creation can stem from a million inspirations: the classics, well-known flavor combinations or even a remembrance of what Aunt Mable used to pour in a thimble for you when you were five years old and stuck home with the flu.
For this latest attempt, I was inspired by the idea of jalapeno cornbread. Could I capture that in a drink?
With any good attempt at mixology, you want the featured spirit to shine. All other components are there to prop it up, selflessly step back while it takes the curtain call.
So, first off, what are the flavors in jalapeno cornbread? Well, corn, of course, and heat. Hmm…. what's behind the bar? Ah, Tabasco, perfect.
What citrus goes well with spicy food? Well, I ain't gonna be squeezing grapefruit on my Chile Rellenos, so lime juice it is. Butter is taken care of with the rich, oily mouthfeel of the Glen Thunder.
And what do you put on cornbread besides butter? Jam. Hmm…ah, apricot brandy? It just might work.
After a couple of attempts, this turned out to be a solid start. We're gonna keep blowing out the possibilities (jalapeno-infused simple syrup, perhaps), but the following recipe turned out pretty tasty
And the name — I mean, come on, every cocktail needs a good name — Coot Mathews. An old friend of John Wayne's, he was an oil well firefighter in Texas. Putting out fires with grit, grace and boldness. An awesome combination and a fitting name.
The Coot Matthews