A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forest


When contemplating this week’s letter, the first thing to come to mind was Frangelico–the wonderful hazelnut liqueur that comes in a bottle shaped like a Franciscan monk, complete with a rope belt. But a single ingredient a cocktail does not make.

So while supper simmers I have to ponder what else to put with the nutty Friar. Oooh, Friar? As in, perhaps, Friar Tuck? As in Robin Hood? This calls for some serious research via my DVD library. And I’m not talking about the Kevin Costner version, either. My favorite Robin Hood is the animated one from 1973.

But how was this going to turn from cartoon into cocktail?

Sherwood Forest Cocktail

Well, we already had the Friar covered, so I’m leaning sweet. Vanilla Vodka for the lovely Maid Marian gives us a good base for our cocktail, and puts the love-interest front and center. Somewhere along my wandering pondering I decided on blue curacao but I can’t remember for who or why, though the hazelnut-orange combination makes me want to keep it. Let’s just say it’s for Little John, voiced by Phil Harris who also voices Baloo the bear in the Jungle Book. Baloo, B-lue. Close enough for me!

But, oh, we’ve got three great alcohols, here, what ever are we going to combine them with? You know I need a non-hooch mixer to balance these heavy hitters and we still haven’t paired up Robin Hood yet…

I’ve got it!

Sherwood Forest

1 1/4 oz Vanilla Vodka
3/4 oz Frangelico
1/2 oz Blue Curacao
3 oz Ginger Beer

Combine vodka and both liqueurs over ice and shake like the “safety’s on ol’ Betsy.” Strain into a chilled martini glass and top with ginger beer, letting the carbonation stir things up for you.

The finished drink is a bright green/teal color. If that doesn’t appeal to you, feel free to substitute Cointreau for the blue curacao, but not triple sec–it’d be too bossy. (A cherry speared with a little wooden arrow would make a fantastic garnish, don’t you think? Fresh out of both, I went with an classic-style cocktail glass that’s actually from the Walt Disney Signature collection.)

So, how did I get from Robin Hood to ginger beer? Well, in the animated version Robin Hood is a fox, foxes are red and this is an English tale. Across the pond redheads are called gingers, ergo ginger beer! Yes, I suppose you could substitute ginger ale for the ginger beer but the flavor will be weaker unless you’ve got easy access to some artisanal  ginger ale micro”brew” or something. Seriously, go for the real thing or you might have to call it the Sheriff Nottingham (a wolf in fox’s clothing).