By now, everyone's heard of the Benton's Old-Fashioned, Don Lee's bacon fat-washed spin on an Old Fashioned. But what about a serrano ham-washed Brandy Alexander?
Plenty of bartenders have followed Lee's example since the Benton's debuted, not always with pretty results. But Clif Travers as Williamsburg's Bar Celona has come up with something not just good, but also downright mystifying. Looking for something to match the bar's Spanish theme, he first tried washing Spanish brandy with chorizo. "That was a terrible disaster. Horrible, horrible," he remembered. Then he tried serrano ham and found success. He mixed it with dark creme de cacao, creme and chocolate shavings and called it the Brandy Alejandro.
But here's the weird thing. The ham-washed brandy tastes fine—rich, deep and interesting. But it reminds you of something. "It's tastes like that old candy," said Travers. "Werther's Originals." It does! It's absolutely strange, but it does. Quite disorienting. Chalk it up to the mysteries of alcoholic alchemy.