Photo by Wales Hunter
Cocktails by Louisville's Patrick Ormerod, master bartender at the North End Cafe
What if, after 4.6 billion years, the world did end on Dec. 21, 2012? What would our final salutation be? “To Earth, we hardly knew ye?” Or maybe something more jovial, such as: “Here’s interplanetary dust in your eye!” Whatever we raised our ultimate glass to, one thing is certain: It would bring a long-established tradition a full cosmic circle, for, by all accounts, mankind has been celebrating special occasions with “a toast” since the beginning of time.
Chances are, just the thought of doomsday has left us shaken and a bit stirred. But if Patrick Ormerod, barkeep at Louisville’s North End Café, has anything to say about it, the end at least will be festive. Ormerod has been masterminding alcoholic confections for about 10 years, the last two at North End. But his penchant for mixology may have begun long before that. “I remember I made pudding when I was 7,” he says. “I added some cinnamon and thought, ‘Wow, that’s cool.’ So I kept adding stuff—black pepper, nutmeg. Everyone took one bite and said, ‘How much did you put in here?’ So I guess this was my calling,” he says with a laugh.
To mark the occasion of our final days, Ormerod has created for Kentucky Monthly the Doomsday Cocktail. “I did a standard daiquiri but added mint and a dose of Fernet [a bitter, aromatic spirit] to make it dark and foreboding,” he says. “Maybe we’ll get some smoke and special effects to serve it.” And just in case we’re still here on Dec. 22, Ormerod is prepared with some frothy fare, too, such as the Orange Blossom Fizz,Tea'd Up and the Nice Pear, featuring ginger and a sprig of rosemary. But if you’d rather party at home, Ormerod has some advice: keep it simple. “If you do a cocktail, I recommend a punch,” he says. “You don’t want to have guests and be stuck in the kitchen all night.” Especially if it’s your last.
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