The “CALL OF CTHULHU” Cocktail
Call of Cthulhu: A Cocktail
By Peggy Nadramia and Joe Netherworld
Since the beginning of our association in the Cocktail Lab, we have discussed our mutual desire to create a libation evoking the essence of the slumbering horror that is Cthulhu, the cosmic Old One first brought to the consciousness of man by New England author, Howard Phillips Lovecraft. But it couldn’t happen until the stars were right, and we had received the Elder Sign. The time has come.
The Cocktail Vultures have been pleasing your palate for awhile now, but all is not fun and games here at the Lab. Last night we were possessed with an irresistible frenzy to mix, to mix well, and to taste a drink both powerful and beguiling. We have found it.
The short story “Call of Cthulhu” first appeared in 1928, in an issue of Weird Tales, the pulp magazine familiar to every reader of horror fiction. This was a time when Westerners were just beginning to be exposed to the exoticism and sensuality of life in the tropical seas, and also to the barbarity of the pagan cultures found there. We based the drink on the tropical grogs of those climes, with plenty of fresh citrus and three kinds of decadent rum. Its structure is also a nod to Don the Beachcomber’s original Zombie, a name that conjures visions of helpless humans trapped in a spell of forgetfulness and servitude. The maraschino liqueur adds a whiff of dusty forbidden tomes. To facilitate disturbing dreams, we included Strega, the ultimate Witch liqueur from a site in Italy originally known as Malevento – the place of evil events. The blue Curacao is essential; do not even consider replacing it or the gods may be disturbed and awakened prematurely; when you look at the finished result of our mixology, you’ll understand why you must adhere to the recipe. Finally, we had to add the Madness From the Sea, and so a sprinkling of brine is called for in the presentation of the drink.
Be careful; we recommend one cocktail per guest. One doesn’t summon Cthulhu lightly, and one treats him with respect, or pays the price. Heed this warning, and always drink, and call to the Elder Gods, responsibly.
To a blender, add:
1 ounce Kraken rum (some scholars believe H. P. Lovecraft was inspired by Tennyson’s poem of the same name)
1 ounce gold rum (we used Appleton Special Jamaican Rum)
1 ounce Lemon Hart 151 Demerara Rum
¼ ounce falernum
½ ounce Maraschino liqueur
½ ounce blue Curacao
¾ ounce lime juice
¾ ounce grapefruit juice
¾ ounce orange juice (all our citrus is freshly-squeezed)
¾ ounce pineapple juice
2 dashes aromatic bitters (we used Bitter Truth)
1/8 teaspoon Strega liqueur
1 cup crushed ice
Blend for 5 seconds. Pour unstrained into a mug or chimney glass, to which you have added more crushed ice. Sprinkle the surface of the cocktail with approximately ½ teaspoon of brine (recipe to follow).
Brine: in a small mixing glass, combine 2 ounces of vodka with ¼ teaspoon of sea salt, stirring until salt is dissolved. May be transferred to a dasher bottle or eyedropper.
Garnish with a slice of star fruit and tentacles carved from lime shell.
Ignore that faint chanting you think you hear; we’re sure those are not the strains of pagan music beginning to grow louder. Sip, as your mind begins to be swayed by the great god Cthulhu, who is rumored to whisper in his sleep…
P.S. (from Joe Netherworld): I can hold my booze alongside the great drunks of our age, but I have to say this potion is a challenge to my imbibing abilities! It will lay you low and leave you babbling incoherently in the darkness