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Local Libations: The Only William

2011 February 11

by Andrew States

Only William Ingedients

After reading Stephanie’s recipe for this week, I cleaned the drool from my chin and set to thinking.  Scouring the list of ingredients, I settled on carrots for my inspiration.  I never actively search for carrots, but when they show up I’m always pleasantly surprised.  My initial idea was to make a carrot juice based Bloody Mary. It would’ve been easy and probably pretty good – I had visions of starting a brunch revolution.  Campbell’s would probably have put a price on my head.  Exciting proposition, but I know better than to mess with Campbell’s.  Besides, I liked the challenge of trying something different and, as much as I’m a fan of Bloody Marys, I already know how to make a good one.  I opted for sweet rather than savory, a balance that I thought would compliment Stephanie’s recipe nicely.

CLICK HERE for the full post and recipe.

Despite a long mixological tradition, rum is typically regarded as a lesser liquor, a drink for beach bums, people who want to be drunk without having to taste any booze and…well, pirates.  Rum though, like most other liquor, has a refined history of taste and innovation.  A distiller I’ve gone to in previous posts, Berkshire Mountain of Massachusetts, makes something they call their Ragged Mountain Rum.  It’s a good pot-stilled rum that’s heavy enough to go head to head with a thick carrot juice like the one I would be using.  After adding a little simple syrup I had the right amount of sweet, but not quite the right flavor.  I thought back to my recent experiment with The Zephyr.  My tactic there had been to use a complimentary flavor to push through the details of the overlying ingredients.  In that case it was anise, for this cocktail I opted to use Laird’s Apple Brandy.  Not the applejack or the bonded liquor of previous posts, but the viscous, 7 ½ year variety that warms the guts and stupefies the senses.

Carrot juice is powerful stuff.  It tastes very much like what it is and it took some serious fine-tuning in order to get the flavors to balance.  I added a couple dashes of Fee Bros. Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters for their spiced bite and stirred in a little cayenne pepper in order that you might remember the drink.  It helps everything linger on the palette long enough to make you go back for more.  In the spirit of the marriage of British monarchy and vegetable juice based drinks, I hope you enjoy the cocktail I’ve named The Only William.

The Only William

Prep time: 2 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Tools: Mixing glass, Spoon, Jigger (or another means of measuring ounces), Cocktail strainer


  • 1 1/2 oz. Berkshire Mountain Ragged Mountain Rum
  • 1 oz. Laird’s 7½ Year Old Apple Brandy
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • 1 oz. organic carrot juice
  • 2 dashes Fee Bros. Aromatic Bitters
  • 1/2 (or a little less) tsp. cayenne pepper

Cooking Directions

  1. Pour 1½ oz of Ragged Mountain Rum into a mixing glass or shaker
  2. Add 1 oz of Laird’s 7½ Year Old Apple Brandy
  3. Add 1 oz simple syrup
  4. Add 1 oz carrot juice.
  5. Add 2 dashes of Fee Bros. Aromatic Bitters
  6. Add a little less than ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
  7. Add ice to mixing glass.
  8. Stir ingredients until cold and thoroughly mixed.
  9. Strain into glass.
  10. Drink up.


The Only William