Regardless of what Punxsatawney Phil happens to see when he's persuaded to emerge from his burrow in front of a battery of television cameras at Gobbler's Knob this weekend, there's plenty of winter yet to come. To keep seasonal affective disorder at bay, sometimes it's wise to embrace the season for its good points: steaming plates of comfort food are all the more comforting in the winter; you can build crackling fires in the fireplace to drive away the chill; and deep, brooding cocktails seem to provide extra solace at a time when daylight is still at a premium.
For moody, evocative drinks, look no further than the Widow's Kiss. First documented in 1895 by George Kappeler in Modern American Drinks, the Widow's Kiss is a powerfully flavored mixture of the distinctive French apple brandy, Calvados, plus ample measures of yellow Chartreuse and Benedictine —French herbal liqueurs with a long monastic heritage. Tinged with Angostura, the Widow's Kiss is rich, heady and potent; with a crackling fire in front of you and one of these inside you, February doesn't stand a chance.
About the author: Paul Clarke blogs about cocktails at The Cocktail Chronicles and writes regularly on spirits and cocktails for Imbibe magazine. He lives in Seattle, where he works as a writer and magazine editor.
- 1 1/2 ounces Calvados
- 3/4 ounce Yellow Chartreuse
- 3/4 ounce Benedictine
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Garnish: cocktail cherry
Pour Calvados, Chartreuse, Benedictine, and bitters into a mixing glass and fill with ice; stir briskly for 30 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.