Classic (Game) Cocktail of the Week: The Big Core
Goes down easy, much the same way Gradius III doesn't.
Some people like to unwind over the weekend by listening to favorite podcasts; others prefer to relaxing with an alcoholic libation. We figure: Why not both? With the Classic (Game) Cocktail column, we'll offer weekly recommendations on cocktail recipes to accompany our most recent podcast episode.
Disclaimer: Please drink responsibly, and only if you are of legal age (or have permission).
Classic (Game) Cocktail #4: Big Core
We tackled the Gradius games in this week's podcast, and they've inspired this week's cocktail as well. The most iconic bad guys in the Gradius series — besides the omnipresent Moai heads — are the Big Core ships that appear at the end of many stages. You know the ones: The large multi-pronged slabs of silvery metal powered by a bright blue core that turns red once you blast through its shielding and cause its internal systems to go critical. Their bright red near-death core serves as the guiding image for this take on the classic Old Fashioned.
- 2 oz. 100-proof rye whisky
- Bitters (cardamom or aromatic)
- Club soda
- 1 tsp. sugar (superfine or white)
- 1 orange
- 3 maraschino cherries
The Old Fashioned has a few different iterations (some minimalist, some loaded with fruit). This recipe splits the difference.
- In a cocktail mixer, sprinkle several dashes of bitters over the sugar.
- Add two cherries and a few orange wedges. Muddle them fruit, sugar, and bitters together in the mixer until the sugar has dissolved in the fruit juice.
- Add ice to the mixer, then pour the rye over top. Stir until the mixture is cold.
- Pour a splash of club soda into a cocktail glass, then strain the whiskey mixture into the cocktail glass.
- And finally, the most important step: Place the final cherry into the cocktail.
Like the Big Core from the games, you'll know you've almost destroyed this drink when you can see a bright red sphere.
- You don't have to use cardamom bitters — Angostura or orange also work, too. Cardamom bitters add a nice flavor, though.
- Some people get very cranky if you add fruit to an Old Fashioned. This cocktail, based on a recipe that was popular before Prohibition, is meant to appease them by straining the fruit out.
- Store-bought maraschino cherries are OK, but feel free to level-up by making your own (simmer pitted sour cherries in maraschino liquor for 5-10 minutes, then pour the mixture into a jar; seal and refrigerate once cooled).
- Superfine sugar is recommended. Standard white sugar is also OK. Avoid confectioner's sugar or brown sugar as they don't work well in cocktails.
- Next week's podcast is about games based on food mascots, and I have no idea how to turn Chase the Chuckwagon into an appetizing drink. I guess we'll find out!