The highly anticipated premiere of Downton Abbey's third season is so close we can almost taste it. This Sunday night fans from coast to coast will be toasting the return of their favorite characters and a few new additions to boot. At my house we love any reason to have friends over and mix a few drinks, so this occasion suits us just fine. Since almost tasting isn't good enough we'd like you to actually get a taste of Downton for this week's 10-Minute Happy Hour.
You may be familiar with our signature sips for each of the Crawley sisters including Sybil, Lady Mary and Edith, (links above) and now we've got one for the man of the house too.
No not Lord Grantham, the other man who is currently not residing there though we may all speculate when and if the honorable Mr. Bates shall return to Downton.
[SEASON 2 SPOILER ALERT]
Mr. Bates, valet to the Earl of Grantham, is an enigmatic character who at the end of season two was convicted of murdering his psychotically vindictive first wife. If that wasn't enough to sour him he already carries a dark streak that surfaces when dealing with his old war injuries, often having others view him as a cripple, which to Mr. Bates is far worse than the injury itself. Bates' life is truly bittersweet as it is spun with love and joy from the ever- adoring Anna.
To sum up John Bates in a glass, this cocktail mixes the bittersweet Italian aperitif Amaro Nonino with the rich and alluring Pedro Ximenez Sherry and a dash of orange bitters. It's sophisticated with a smooth body and a bit of a bite in the finish. I've optimistically garnished it with a sliver of orange peel, to represent a little sunshine in the end for dear Mr. Bates and his lovely Anna.
No matter which cocktail you choose here's to you enjoying a delightful sip of Downton.
In a short glass filled with cracked ice, add the Amaro Nonino, the sherry and a couple of dashes of orange bitters. (Angostura bitters works well here too.)
Twist the orange peel to express its oils into the glass then drop it in as a garnish.
Maureen C. Petrosky writes what she knows, food, booze and parties. Author of The Wine Club, she appears regularly on The TODAY show to share her vices, and advice with the world. For more info check out www.maureenpetrosky.com or follow her on twitter @maureenpetrosky