In our first episode, I was tasked to craft a cocktail fitting enough to complement a horror masterpiece: Dario Argento's Suspiria.
In a nutshell, Suspiria (1977) follows a young American dancer, Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper), as she navigates her first few days in a German ballet academy. And what a 'first few days' she has, too: a former student of the school is murdered, there's a maggot infestation, a fatal dog attack, and -- wouldn't you know it? -- a coven of witches.
Of course, most of us celebrate Suspiria not for its flimsy plot but for its over-the-top deaths, disorienting sets, and its impossibly saturated Technicolor. Nonetheless, I wanted to create a cocktail that captured it all.
Suspiria is the first movie in the Three Mothers Trilogy. It precedes Inferno (1980) and Mother of Tears (2007). Together, the movies spin a loosely tethered yarn of three witches -- presumably related -- who wreak havoc on unsuspecting dwellers in three different cities: Freiburg, Germany; New York City, United States; and Rome, Italy.
So (un)naturally, my cocktail had to allude to these locations while also referencing color and disorientation.
Introducing The Hex!
The Hex nods to the Big Apple by way of the New York Sour, a drink traditionally made by crowning a complex bourbon-focused cocktail with a touch of red wine. To invoke three mothers, though, I had to ensure both Italy and Germany were also well-represented, so my cocktail specifies that you use a dry Italian Chianti and that you (bravely?) add a bit of Jägermeister.
Here's what you'll need.
Sparkling water (3oz)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice (1oz)
Rye bourbon (1oz)
An egg white
1. To make the magic happen, pour sparkling water into a cocktail tumbler.
2. In a shaker, add 2oz of Jägermeister, 1oz rye bourbon, 1oz freshly squeezed lemon juice, and an egg white.
3. Then -- always my favorite part -- shake that witch's brew like you're wringing Abigail Williams's neck! The shaker will cool considerably as you shake, and the egg will become deliciously frothy.
4. Pour the contents of the shaker into your tumbler. She's been so patient waiting for the good stuff to arrive. Give her a gentle stir because we don't want to kill the bubbles, right?
5. Now for the crowning glory. We're adding Italy to the mix. Hover an ass-up spoon over the froth and gently drip in the Chianti. You can move the spoon and the drip so that the wine covers as much surface area as possible.
This results in The Hex, a technicolor layered tastegasm that's fit for a witch!