Non Multa Sed Multum - Hope you like symbolism in your cocktails.
This cocktail is a nod to the place I've worked at for the last 7 years, the American icon that is C.F. Martin and Co., also known as Martin Guitar. Recipe first, story after.
Non Multa Sed Multum
1 oz. - Barenjager Honey and Bourbon
0.5 oz. - Heering's Cherry Liqueur
0.5 oz. - Somrus Chai Cream Liqueur
1 oz. - Half n' Half
4 dashes - Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters
All ingredients into a tin with ice. Shake for at least 15 seconds to dilute the drink a bit. Strain into a rocks glass filled with cracked ice. Add a cherry on a pick for garnish and enjoy.
Non Multa Sed Multum, latin for "not many but much," was a slogan emblazoned above a door in the old Martin Guitar Factory to remind workers what their goal was - to make the best instrument in the world. By many people's standards, Martin has succeeded at doing so since 1833. This phrase, not many but much, inspired me when I was dreaming up cocktails - it made me think of a rich dessert cocktail, something complex and satisfying; meant to be savored, not ordered one after the other.
I began thinking of how I could represent the fine guitars made at Martin in the form of a drink. I thought about my own guitars. The first guitar I bought myself while working at Martin was an HD-16R Adirondack - East Indian Rosewood sides, Adirondack Spruce top. That guitar is special, I worked on it myself and when it passed my bench I just knew it was the one for me. The spruce used for the top has a unique quality to it in the way that it reflects the light in different directions on either side - it's a cool effect and it made this one stand out to me. Another notable purchase was my first custom guitar - well customs, plural. A few years ago I decided to have a pair of Size-5 Terz guitars made; one for me, one for my brother. Making these guitars was a special way to commemorate how much I appreciate my brother as an individual and our brotherhood in general. Besides the spruce top and the fingerboard, everything is cherry - my favorite tone wood for guitars - it's warm, versatile, and looks so damn good.
One day, I was snooping around at a Wine and Spirits when I stumbled upon something called Somrus Chai Cream Liqueur - it's in this tall, diamond-textured, gold bottle surely intended to pull suckers like me in for a closer look. As I inspected the front and back labels, finding out that the origins of this spirit are Indian, it all clicked. It's a bit of a stretch but I could use this liqueur to represent East Indian Rosewood; I could use some of the Heering's Cherry Liqueur that I had at home to represent cherry wood and I could use Barenjager Honey and Bourbon to symbolize Christian Frederick Martin Sr.'s German roots (I guess technically speaking he was from Saxony, but the history and evolution of that region confuses me..either way it's now a state in Germany so, whatever, we're just gonna stick with "German roots"). There were a few other liquors on my list that I could've used but, upon some testing, I felt that this was the best combo. I also added some chocolate bitters which really smoothed over all the flavors involved. The half n' half works exactly as you'd expect in this drink, it continues to round out the flavors and gives it a rich mouthfeel similar to that of a White Russian. Shaking all the ingredients together with ice helps to dilute the mixture a bit while whipping in a little bit of air, giving it some froth and keeping it light, smooth and not so syrupy. Honestly, I could see this as more of a winter drink with a little nutmeg grated on top but, as I write this, it's 95+ degrees outside and it still holds up.
I enjoy this cocktail a lot, the flavors work well together to make a solid dessert drink, not quite as rich as the storied history of Martin Guitar but rich for a cocktail nonetheless - sweet from the cherry and honey flavors yet spicy from the chai; complex and satisfying, filled with sentiment and symbolism.
Let me know if you try it or any of my other drinks for that matter, I'd love to hear your feedback. Thanks for reading!