This heady end-of-season fall cocktail is inspired by Le Sirenuse head barman Robert Wimmer’s childhood memories of golden autumn days in his native Austria and his grandmother’s homemade Viennese strudel, as well as the Halloween traditions shared by so many of his American guests.
It’s a little more complicated to reproduce than some of the cocktails we’ve posted in the pages of the Journal, partly because it involves a little kitchen prep before you mix the drink, and partly because Robert is rightly jealous of original creations like this one and reluctant to explain every single ingredient and trick of the trade. But we have persuaded him to reveal most if not all of the magic formula, and reproduce the recipe here for your responsible drinking pleasure. Happy Halloween, buone feste, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Positano next year!
First, make the reduction by taking half a kilo of carrots (peeled weight) and extracting their juice in a centrifuge or juicer. Put this in a thick-bottomed saucepan, add ten grains of timut pepper, a pinch of salt, 280g of good cane sugar, and put on a low flame, stirring constantly for around 25 minutes until reduced.
Then prepare the crumble using 3/4 cup (175ml) of all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup (125ml) of light brown sugar, 1/4 cup (50ml) of melted butter and ½ teaspoon (2ml) of ground cinnamon. First mix the dry ingredients together, then add the melted butter and work with your fingers so that it forms small crumbs.
Finally, make the pumpkin ‘fans’ that decorate the glass (see photo) by cutting two thin, triangular slices of pumpkin for each glass, and drying them in an oven or food dehydrator.
With these three stages out of the way, the rest is child’s play. Build the cocktail in a chilled tumbler like an Old Fashioned. First sprinkle a ring of cinnamon crumble around the wettened rim. Then add to the glass four dashes of Angostura, the carrot and pepper reduction, a third (2cl) of the calvados and a single ice cube. Stir well. Add two more ice cubes and another third of the calvados. Stir gently. Add the final two ice cubes and the rest of the calvados, stirring gently again. Garnish with the pumpkin fans. Enjoy.
Photo © Roberto Salomone