At staple craft cocktail bar The Alembic in San Francisco, bartender and former chef Larry Piaskowy is again following his Girl Scout Cookie love. But this year, instead of creating sweet cocktail replicas of Girl Scout Cookies, his limited run $13 drinks are built to pair with Thin Mints, Samoas, and Do-si-dos.
For the next month or so, The Alembic is featuring two cookie-cocktail pairings at a time, with each combination on the menu for two days. And on nights when Piaskowy is behind the bar, he’ll also feature one of last year’s cookie cocktails, but just for that evening.
Here's a look at how the pairings work. First up: Samoa and Thin Mint.
Samoa with Girl from Ipanema
Avua Cachaca Prata, Alvear Med Dry Sherry, lime half, Piloncillo Sugar Syrup
To complement the vanilla and tropical notes of the crisp cookies coated in caramel, he created a sherry Caipirinha. "That slightly cloying, macaroon-like texture of the cookie is mellowed out and balanced by the lime. The sherry brings that vanilla and tropical note to the cocktail," says Piaskowy.
Do-si-do with Broken Bagpipe
Isle of Skye 8yr, Laphroaig 10yr, lemon, honey syrup, Scrappy's Cardamom Bitters, Scrappy's Orleans Bitters, Crème de Noyaux, soda
Instead of focusing on the peanut butter in this oatmeal sandwich cookie with peanut butter filling, Piaskowy enhanced its oat flavors by using the graininess of scotch to balance the flavors with Laphroiag for richness. The Orleans bitters adds a hit of fennel, while the cardamom bitters impart savoriness. But the ingredient that brings the cocktail together is a barspoon of Crème de Noyaux.
Shortbread/Trefoils with Mr. Kipling's Flip
Brandy, simple syrup, lemon, Genepy, cream, egg, Scrappy's Lavender Bitters
Inspired by the butteriness and creaminess of this shortbread cookie, Piaskowy created a flip. The aged brandy highlights the cookie's vanilla flavor while the Genepy provides herbaceousness. Lavender bitters bring out the cookie's floral notes.
Thin Mint with Some Like It Hot
Tequila Blanco, St. George NOLA Coffee, simple syrup, Benedictine, Ancho Reyes Chili Liqueur, Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters, mint leaves, hot water, topped with black lager foam
Piaskowy enjoys his Thin Mints frozen, so he created a hot cocktail to go with the cookie, which he'll serve chilled. Tequila was a natural fit to complement the cookie's chocolate and mint flavors. From there he used St. George coffee liqueur for bitterness, chili liqueur for spice and a little Benedictine for cinnamon. To give the cocktail an extra dimension, he muddled in some mint leaves. And the pièce de résistance is a layer of black lager foam.