For a recent beer event, I was challenged to develop a beer cocktail using a Baltic Porter. Unique for its ability to be brewed with both lager and ale yeast, the Baltic Porter was originally developed as an export version of the English Porter destined for the Baltic Sea ports.
Inspired by the beer’s heritage, I decided to follow a “Baltic” theme. Naturally, vodka was the first spirit to come to mind. While doing research, I found that the blackcurrant is native to Northern Europe. In fact, Poland, Russia and Germany are the largest producers of the blackcurrant. (Source: AgroAtlas). Known most commonly for its use in the “Kir” and “Kir Royale” cocktails, Creme de Cassis ia a sweet, dark red liqueur produced from blackcurrants. As with most liqueurs, it is available in both commercial and artisan forms — and is also quite simple to make, if you have access to black currants.
As a result of it’s lofty alcohol content, the Baltic Porter is often described as being vinous and Port-like, making it a natural pair for darker fruits and berries. Although the flavor is lost in the background of the cocktail, the vodka slightly lightens the body of the drink, while adding a bit of an alcohol boost. Flavors of dark chocolate, dark fruit and an orange essence from the bitters dominate the flavor, giving the cocktail a dessert-like appeal.
Mail Order Bride
- 1 oz. Vodka
- 1 oz. Creme de Cassis
- 3 oz. Baltic Porter
- 3 dashes Orange Bitters
- Optional orange peel garnish
Shake all of the ingredients with ice, strain into a brandy snifter and garnish with an orange peel.