I am writing this not on the 58th day of the 100 Days of Cocktails. I am writing it on the 67th day (catching up!), which also happens to be the birthday of the Marine Corps (November 10, 1775). Oddly enough, there is a story about how Tootsie rolls contributed to a victory by the Marines in the Korean War. Specifically, the Battle of Chosin (or Changjin if you prefer the Korean name). Marines and other forces were pinned down by Chinese forces in a brutally cold area, the Chosin Resevoir. Surrounded and running low on supplies, especially ammunition, they radioed in an order of Tootsie Rolls. They thought they were using the code word for ammunition. The team taking the message thought they were ordering tasty chocolate treats. The large order of full size candies showed up, much to the consternation of the soldiers there. However, the candy did serve a useful purpose. Their normal rations were frozen and nearly indelible. The candy, when held to the body, warmed up enough to eat for some energy. They also used it to plug holes and other industrial applications. When they filled the hole, the candies froze right back and held. The troops eventually received the ammo they had initially requested, and fought their way out. They inflicted heavy blows as they left, eventually being the last units out of Korea.
This Tootsie Roll was developed by Aisha Sharpe, one of the founding partners of Contemporary Cocktails and a contributing writer to Liquor.com. There are many versions of this cocktail (I am familiar with the Kahlua and orange juice version), but this one ups the respectability of the ingredients. Biting Bulleit Rye and rich sherry make a lovely pair, but it the chocolate bitters that really make it sing.
Tootsie Roll (by Aisha Sharpe)
2 oz. rye whiskey (Bulleit is recommended)
1 oz. Pedro Ximenez Sherry (Lustau is recommended)
6 ds. Scrappy's Chocolate Bitters
Garnish: Luxardo Cherry
Pour all of the ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice, then stir until the mixture is well chilled (30 seconds). Strain into the cocktail glass, garnish with the cherry, and serve.
This is a spicy, spicy Tootsie Roll. As I was mixing this, the one thought going through my head was "Who wins in this glass: the spicy rye or the sweet sherry?" The answer is the rye. It is makes itself very well known in this cocktail. They sherry and bitters put up one hell of a fight, sweetening up the last lingering notes on the tongue. But that first burst is rye all the way. Love the cocktail, just don't go in thinking you are getting something to satisfy the sweet tooth. This is more in the spirit of Mexican chocolate; a little sweet, but a little zing. Something I am sure any Marine would enjoy.