Barrell Craft Spirits blender Nic Christansen created the Lady Midnight cocktail after being inspired by a bone marrow dish by Chef Bobby Benjamin at Butchertown Grocery in Louisville, Kentucky. “He used bourbon barrel smoked sugar in the dish, and I loved the way the bourbon and savory bone marrow worked together,” says Nic. “I immediately wanted to create a bourbon cocktail with bone marrow.”
Nic decided to infuse sherry with bone marrow using a technique called “fat washing,” which allows you to imbue the flavor of oily or fatty ingredients into alcohol. She chose Pedro Ximenez sherry (sometimes called “PX” sherry) for its rich, sweet, raisiny quality, which serves as a perfect counterpart to the savoriness of the bone marrow.
Complex yet elegantly simple, the Lady Midnight counterposes powerful high-proof bourbon with the soft, layered richness of bone marrow sherry and warm spice accents from Becherovka, a Czech liqueur, and Bittermen’s Xocolatl Mole Bitters. “It’s the kind of cocktail you can have with dinner, or afterwards with a dessert and good conversation,” says Nic.
.75 oz bone marrow Pedro Ximenez Sherry (recipe below)
.5 oz Becherovka
2-3 dashes Bittermen’s Xocolatl Mole Bitters
Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass, fill with ice and stir 10 to 12 times. Strain into a cocktail glass and enjoy.
Bone Marrow Sherry
Place four split marrow bones on a tray and roast in the oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for five minutes. Scrap marrow out of bone and into container with lid, then pour 1 bottle of Pedro Ximenez Sherry into container. Whisk marrow and sherry together, then seal the container and place it in the freezer overnight.
The next day, remove the container from the freezer. Scrape off the layer of fat on the top of the frozen sherry and discard, then allow the sherry to thaw. Once the sherry has thawed, fine strain through a chinois and cheesecloth to remove any fatty solids. Store in the refrigerator for up to 30 days.