Critiques, Cravings and Conundrums From the Madison Food and Dining Scene
Feb 13, 2011
11:35 AM
Small Dishes

A Red Letter Drink

A Red Letter Drink

 Red is always a popular color … and nowhere more so than in Badgerland and at no time more so than on Valentine’s Day.  Red is the color of blood and hearts and denotes love and passion, but also anger—as in "seeing red".

 I’m always looking for new red food and drinks to make for the holiday.  After all there are only three things people do to celebrate and two of them are eating and drinking.


Not being able to resist anything new, I purchased a bottle of Absolut Wild Tea vodka.  It’s actually a tweaking of one of their limited editions venerating American cities—Absolut Boston.   The prominent flavors are tea and elderflowers.  I previously had bought a bottle of the Absolut Boston and liked the way it tasted but could never figure out what to mix it with.  So this time I did some looking on the internet to see if I could find something promising.  The consensus was that Absolut Wild Tea was great in a cosmo, a gimlet or a mojito, but none of these seemed anything special for Valentine’s Day.  Then a stumbled on a blog, the Santa Fe Barman, and a cocktail named after the protagonist in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter.


Serendipity to be sure and the perfect drink to toast your passion …


Hester Prynne Cocktail


2 ounces Absolut Wild Tea

½ ounce framboise (raspberry liqueur)

½ ounce fresh lemon juice

½ ounce honey syrup (recipe follows)

A dash of Angostura Bitters

Raspberries for garnish


Combine the Absolut Wild Tea, framboise, lemon juice, honey syrup and bitters in an ice-filled cocktail shaker; then shake.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with raspberry.


Makes 1 drink.


Honey Syrup:  Combine equal parts of honey and boiling water and stir to mix.  Store covered in the refrigerator.

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About This Blog

Dan CurdI found my interest in writing by accident. My training and first job was as a graphic designer. Unemployed, the only employment I could find in advertising at that time was as a copywriter. Somehow, I convinced Richard Newman & Associates to hire me. Later I learned they were desperate. Madison has been my home off and on since 1957 (nonstop for the past 31 years). I write about food, which I love. – Dan Curd

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