All in Drink like the Swiss
Kirsch Sour & Cherry Syrup
Of course the best kirsch should be drunk alone, however there are a wealth of drinks, like this Kirsch Sour, that could be made with less exclusive varieties (I know everyone who has ever made cheese fondue has a bottle in their liquor cabinet).
Absinthe Crème Caramel
"I climbed out of the window, right past the police officer at my door, and I went to warn my friends."
So said the woman on the video, as the camera zoomed in on her knee high leather boots.
"I came in through the front door—boy was the cop surprised to see me. I invited him in and made him a coffee, but I had to promise not to tell anyone that I'd gotten out."
Green walnuts from the verdant valleys of Ticino meet the original green fairy in this cocktail that tastes like a bag of liquorice allsorts.
I bought a bottle of Nocino (a spirit made with green walnuts) from a Nonna named Rosa at a market in Ticino.
My grandmother was also named Rosa so I took that as a sign to purchase the bottle, (or was it the fact that Nonna Rosa poured me a very generous tasting glass...).
The Caesar was invented in my hometown of Calgary in 1969, the same year that my mum moved from Switzerland to Canada.
And she was in good company. Immigration from Switzerland to Canada really began in the late 1800s, when the Canadian Pacific Railway hired three dozen Swiss guides to help set up mountaineering tourism in the Rockies.
The milky green Suissesse is creamy and refreshing and makes an excellent brunch drink (or hair of the dog).
Swap out Campari for Appenzeller Alpenbitter for a twist on this classic cocktail.
Oeil de Perdrix Bellini
It was Oeil de Perdrix that led to the most profound and polemic wine revolution in the United States...
This cocktail uses two quintessentially Swiss drinks: Rivella, Switzerland's milk based soda pop, and Graübunden's favourite spirit, Röteli.
High on a Walliser mountain is the tiny community of Mund, who harvest no more than five kilos per year. Saffron grows from crocus flowers, each bloom yielding only three thin scarlet threads. It takes over a hundred flowers to make a single gram, which can cost upwards of 30 francs.
The saying goes that you should be able to read a newspaper (or see a coin) through the liquid, otherwise the coffee is too strong, or not enough booze has been added.
It's the fountain of youth in monkey form!
The name of this 1920s cocktail refers to the practice of grafting monkey testicles onto human testicles. For rejuvenation!
Hugo was the invention of a beardy, south Tirolean barkeep vagabond who mixed together Zitronenmelissensirup (lemon balm syrup), Prosecco, mint, and a spritz of soda water, thought up a name off the top of his head, and served it to regulars at his bar in Naturns in 2005.
Holunderblütensirup (elderflower syrup) is a syrup of many uses. In Switzerland it is added with abandon to sparking water, wine or cocktails (Hugo) for a light and floral summery taste. There is Holunderblütencreme and you can even batter and fry the blossoms.
Vin Blanc Chaud
In mid December, I took in the Strasbourg Christmas market with my buddies Lauren and Emily. The highlight was lovely steaming cups of warm, spiced white wine that went right to our heads.
A couple of sips and our eyes got glassy, our speech emotional, and the cobblestones became difficult to negotiate.
It was some good mulled wine.
The market stalls in Bern are filled with late autumn fruit and the plums are holding court. If Zwetschgen is King, then his Queen is the tiny golden Mirabelle.
I've set my mirabelles to soak, using gin as my boozy base, and in a few weeks' time, there'll be boozy fruit for spooning over ice cream, as well as mirabelle infused gin, perfect for cocktails.