This week’s cocktail is one that is very dear to me for two reasons—it was the first cocktail I ever tried, and more importantly, it was created by my great-grandfather, and has been consumed every Christmas since he first created it back in the ‘80s. Strong, refreshing, and slightly sweet, It’s called the Pottawatomie Sunset—Pottawatomie comes from the name of the street my great-grandfather was living on in Michigan when it was created, and sunset is for its bright orange color resembling the setting sun.
Luckily for me, I was able to celebrate this annual tradition a few days ago with my family, and begged my grandfather to give me the recipe—he’s kept it a ‘secret’ for some time now. I always knew it was gin-based, but I’ve officially earned permission to learn what’s really in it. Well, it’s a combination of equal parts, gin, Metaxa—a Greek brandy infused with Muscat wine and botanicals like anise and rose petals—lemon juice, and a splash of simple syrup. The Metaxa is what really makes this drink, I wouldn’t substitute any other brandy.
Super simple—and even easier to make than I thought with all the mystique behind it— it’s delicious and sure to put you in a good mood fast!
Now you might be wondering, where does the bright orange color comes from? It actually comes from a drop of red and yellow food coloring, which I learned was added to compensate for the original orange-tinted gin that has since been discontinued. This way, it preserves the heritage of the drink, but allows you to use whatever gin you prefer as a base. Now that I’ve shared the background on this beloved family drink, here’s the long-anticipated recipe that I’m happy to share with you!
1 oz. Metaxa
1 oz. Gin
1 oz. Lemon Juice
Splash of simple syrup
1 drop red and yellow food coloring
Shake with ice and pour in a coup or tumbler glass