December 13, 2015 Advent with SusieJ

Red Lion

Marsha Wirtel, Hot Water Bath

Years and forever ago, a friend of a friend of a friend made me a drink he called a Red Lion. I liked it, asked him for the recipe, and have been making it for myself periodically ever since. When this year's calendar theme was decided I thought it would make a nifty addition. It's not a cocktail one comes across too often, which is a pity because it packs virtue (all that orange juice) along with its vice (two kinds of alcohol).

Imagine my surprise after all these years to discover that what i've been calling a Red Lion...isn't? Looking up recipes to test I discovered that the rest of the world knows them as containing gin along with two kinds of juice and orange liqueur. The version I learned decades ago keeps the liqueur, uses only one kind of juice and swaps out the gin for rum. Interestingly, Amanda Hesser's Cooking for Mr. Latte includes a recipe for a rum-based Red Lion which also counts coconut syrup as an ingredient. As far as I can tell, the coconut enhancement doesn't appear anywhere else, although it should because it sounds fantastic.

Anyway, what does this all mean? Nothing. Nothing, that is, except I think we should try all three varieties as soon as possible and see which we like better. Here's mine:

  • 4 oz. fresh-squeezed blood orange juice
  • 1 oz. Cointreau
  • 1.5 oz. dark rum

Fill a shaker half full with ice. Add all three ingredients, give a good shake and pour into a glass. Enjoy.

[Red lion cocktail in a champagn flute next to two of the cutest gingerbread houses; copyright 2015, Marsha Wirtel, all rights reserved]