Lonesome Catacombs

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Cocktail History

The Lonesome Catacombs is a Sips From Scripts original cocktail that we created that was inspired by the music video for the song “Dearly Departed” by Shakey Graves featuring Esmé Patterson. The video depicts a couple’s self-destruction after a breakup, all of which is caused in a tongue-in-cheek style by the ghosts of the last ill-fated couple to experience the same.

At one point in the video, the artist’s ghost blends up a purple drink made of cough syrup and neon green liqueur, and he serves it to the grieving ex-boyfriend, who shrugs and downs it. To recreate the concoction’s color, we naturally chose Empress 1908 Gin as the base, shook in flamed rosemary, Lillet Rosé, citrus juice, and simple syrup as a nod to the the fire in which he ultimately meets his end, and added a touch of absinthe to help the delusion along.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Butterfly Pea Blossom Gin: This is the base spirit. We used Victoria Distillers Empress 1908 Gin because it adds a light and refreshing juniper taste, herbal black tea flavor, and a purple hue thanks to one of its main ingredients—butterfly pea blossom.

Lillet Rosé: This is a French aromatized wine liqueur made from Grand Cru Bordeaux grapes and flavored with berries, grapefruit, and orange blossom.

Lemon Juice: This adds sour citrus flavors that balance out the other sweet and spiced ingredients. We always use fresh citrus juice because it’s less bitter than the bottled stuff and tastes better.

Simple Syrup: This is a sweetener made with sugar and water. You can buy bottled simple syrup in a store, but we made ours at home using Alex’s recipe because it tastes better fresh and is very easy to make.

Absinthe: This is a spirit. It adds its distinct licorice aroma when sprayed on at the end. We used Amerique 1912 Absinthe Verte made by Great Lakes Distillery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin because it’s made locally to us.

Rosemary: This is shaken in the drink and is the garnish. It adds fresh rosemary aroma and flavor.

Tasting Notes

The Lonesome Catacombs has plenty of woodsy, smoky aromas along with a slight lemon scent and a taste that combines rosemary with the butterfly pea flower gin and Lillet’s herbal, bitter note, all balanced with a tiny bit of tartness. The aftertaste then has a touch of absinthe’s presence left in the mouth accompanied by more of the herbal flavors.

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“This drink was inspired mostly by the purple color of the cough syrup cocktail that the ghost serves to one of the main characters, and I decided that burnt rosemary would emulate the fire dying in; meanwhile, Lillet Rosé lends some herbal bitterness, and lemon provides some balance. The photo was a lot of fun to take too since I felt that the ghostly aspect of the drink wouldn’t be complete without some fog, provided by the smoke machine I convinced Kendall to let us get.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“I don’t know that I had tried a cocktail with such prominent rosemary flavor before Alex created this one, but he did a really great job of highlighting its unique herbal quality. What could be an overpowering ingredient ends up being the star of the show, while the other ingredients turn the drink into one that those with more underdeveloped palates like mine will especially enjoy. The Lonesome Catacombs is tart, tangy, and delicious, and we had a lot of fun creating it together!”

Recipe

AuthorSips From ScriptsPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 1 ¾ oz Empress 1908 Gin
 ½ oz Lillet Rosé
 ½ oz Lemon Juice
 ½ oz Homemade Simple Syrup
 2 Sprays Absinthe
 2 Sprigs Rosemary

Method
1

Add gin, Lillet Rosé, lemon juice, simple syrup, absinthe, one rosemary sprig, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Double-strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Singe the end of remaining rosemary sprig with a flame.

5

Garnish with flamed rosemary sprig.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 ¾ oz Empress 1908 Gin
 ½ oz Lillet Rosé
 ½ oz Lemon Juice
 ½ oz Homemade Simple Syrup
 2 Sprays Absinthe
 2 Sprigs Rosemary

Directions

Method
1

Add gin, Lillet Rosé, lemon juice, simple syrup, absinthe, one rosemary sprig, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Double-strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Singe the end of remaining rosemary sprig with a flame.

5

Garnish with flamed rosemary sprig.

Lonesome Catacombs

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More Shrub Cocktails

If you like this shrub-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Rosemary Gin & Tonic: A gin cocktail made with grapefruit shrub, lime juice, grapefruit tonic water, grapefruit slices, and rosemary

Oxford Comma: A gin cocktail made with dry vermouth, Green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, celery shrub, and lemon

Sweet’s Dream Martini: A gin and sherry cocktail made with elderberry shrub, rosemary, grapefruit, and peppercorn bitters, and maraschino liqueur

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