"I was looking through older cocktail books, and saw a Wild Redhead, which had an awesome name but it was a really boring drink—just Cherry Heering and lemon juice," recalls Meaghan Dorman, the (red)head bartender at New York's Raines Law Room.
Dorman's wilder take on the 70s-era original brings allspice dram and blended Scotch into the mix. "It's got a nice wintry profile, with the allspice dram giving you cinnamon and clove, plus some honey," comments Dorman.
She sees the cocktail as more than a Scotch drinkers' drink; it's a sort of entryway into the spirit. "It appeals to all kinds of whiskey drinkers, and even those who don't love whiskey. The Scotch here is soft, not overpowering."
Add a drizzle of deep, fruitcake-like dark cherry liqueur, and you've got a redhead with a little bit of spice, a little bit of sweet, and plenty of kick, but no burn. It's dangerously easy (not to be mistaken for weak) drinking—stomach-warming, cool weather comfort at its best.
Dorman notes that this is the kind of cocktail that could might be just as equally enjoyable served hot. She may be on to something...Who needs warm milk when you the Wildest Redhead singing you to sleep?
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About the author: Jaclyn Einis is a Boston-bred, Brooklyn-based writer. No matter where she wanders, it always comes back to food and drink. It's been that way since the day she was born (some got pilgrim hats; she was a turkey baby). You can find her cleaning plates here.