I'm Elyse. Some of my most vivid and cherished memories are around a table with friends and family, and I want that for you, too.
What are you in the
For the second installment of Boozy Book Club, we are tackling The Last Smile in Sunder City. Written by Luke Arnold (of Black Sails fame), this novel is the first book in the Fetch Phillips Archives series. It is a noir detective story that takes place in a beautifully dark and fleshed-out fantasy world.
We follow Fetch Phillips on a missing person’s case that weaves us through Sunder City. During his search, we also get glimpses into Fetch’s past and the Coda—aka the day the magic left. Our detective is rarely sober, which gave me a TON of inspiration for cocktails. However, turns out Fetch enjoys a sweet cocktail called Milkwood—which really got my wheels turning.
When I think of detectives in noir films, my mind immediately goes to copious amounts of coffee and bourbon. So we’re making that our base, using Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur and Larceny Bourbon. I decided to take the ‘wood’ part of Milkwood in a warming spice direction, creating a ridiculously delicious syrup infused with cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, and clove. Finally, we put the milk in Milkwood and shake the whole thing up to deliver a luscious and frothy bev—perfect for solving the cases of your neighborhood vampire, ogre, or elf.
Looking for more cocktail recipes? Here are some favorites:
Creamy and perfectly spiced, this version of The Last Smile in Sunder City’s signature cocktail is quickly becoming my cold weather go-to.
For the spiced syrup:
1/3C light brown sugar
8 black peppercorns
5 cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2” ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
For the cocktail:
2 1/2oz milk
1/2oz spiced syrup
1 1/2oz coffee liqueur (I use Mr. Black, not sponsored, just freaking delicious)
Freshly grated nutmeg for garnish
Make the syrup: Grind the peppercorn, cloves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon sticks in a mortar and pestle until everything is just cracked so they give off the most flavor.
To a saucepan, add the brown sugar, ground spices, ginger, and water. Place over medium heat and stir occasionally for the sugar is dissolved. Continue stirring until you juuuust start to see bubbling. Take off the heat and allow the spices to steep for an additional 15 minutes. Strain out the spices and allow the mixture to cool completely before using. *This makes enough syrup for 6 cocktails*
Build the cocktail: To a cocktail shaker add the milk, syrup, coffee liquor, and bourbon. Fill the shaker 3/4 full with ice and vigorously shake for at least 30 seconds. This will give you a beautiful foamy and light texture.
Pour into a small coup glass and top with freshly grated nutmeg.