A drink like a voice from the evergreen woods, at least that’s what the name of today’s cocktail promises. I came upon the “Whisper of the Forest” cocktail once more due to the book “Cocktailian – Das Handbuch der Bar”. The recipe for this very interesting mixture goes back to the bartender William Schmidt, who published the recipe for the drink in his works “The Flowing Bowl: When and what to drink – Full Instructions how to Prepare, Mix, and Serve Beverages” in 1891.
The “Whisper of the Forest” is a quite unusual variation of a julep which also relies on the aroma of fresh mint (so here we already have a small part of our “Forest”), which then, however, uses ingredients contrary to classic Julep versions such as the “Whiskey Julep” or “Mint Julep”: Dry red wine and Spanish sherry. The flavor turns out to be a real insiders’ tip: You can taste complex aromas of red wine and sherry, which combine perfectly with each other and taste, in fact, a little bit like the green of the forests in combination with the mint. Speaking associatively of course.
Recipe (based on “Cocktailian – Das Handbuch der Bar”):
4 cl Demerara rum
2 cl Medium sherry
1 cl dry red wine
1 BL simple syrup
First clap the mint between your hands (which sets the fragrant oils of the leaves free) and give them into a chilled glass or a silver cup alongside with the remaining ingredients. Stir occasionally and allow it to infuse for 5 minutes. To intensify the herbal flavors I recommend you to press the leaves against the walls of the glass or cup with your bar spoon once in a while. According to the original recipe the mint should be removed now (Personally I always leave my herbs inside when preparing a Julep, so feel free to do as you please).
Fill the glass or the silver cup with crushed ice and stir again. When the glass or cup becomes cloudy on the outside from the cold, the drink is almost finished. Put some crushed ice on top and garnish it with additional mint.
Glass: Highball or silver cup (I always like my Juleps in a silver cup, because it really cools the drink more effectively and offers the classic Julep allurement, but in some situations you might want to prepare the drink in a transparent glas to have a better show-effect.)
Buying Sources: Possibly you’re not going to get Demerara rum in every supermarket. If you’re lucky you may find it in a well-stocked one. Otherwise, just order online or look for it at your favorite wine and liqueur shop. The rum has a special taste of its own, so I would substitute it with other rum only in emergency situations. Medium sherry can also be found in supermarkets and wine shops. Personally I like to buy my fresh mint in Turkish supermarkets. And if it happens that you’re out of simple syrup, you can really easily make it on your own by combining two parts sugar with one part water in a small Tupperware container put the lid on and then shake vigorously. Here goes your selfmade simple syrup!