If you think that the crime drama genre is played out, you clearly haven’t seen The Blacklist, a relatively new NBC series starring James Spader. I just started watching it this summer, and although I’m not usually a fan of detective shows, I found myself getting sucked into the drama and intrigue of Red Reddington’s sordid underworld. The show follows Red, a wanted fugitive, and FBI newbie Elizabeth Keen as they track down dangerous criminals on Red’s so-called “blacklist.” Each episode features a different criminal, some of whom have the most epic villain names on TV (“The Scimitar” and “The Stewmaker” were my favorites). Equally interesting is Agent Keen’s ongoing mission to learn more about her mysterious past, and Red’s instinct to protect her from it.
Last season, the dark side of Liz came out and it seems that she and Red are more alike than anyone could have predicted. On October 1st, we’ll find out how her life on the run will pan out and if she’ll finally get to the bottom of her perplexing relationship with Red.
In anticipation of the premier, we made a classic Aviation Cocktail. Sound familiar? In the first season, Red orders one for Liz at an upscale French restaurant, telling her that “it tastes like spring” – perhaps hinting that her days of innocence are over. A Prohibition-era drink, it’s made with gin, maraschino liqueur, and crème de violette, an obscure liqueur that only recently became available in 2007 after decades of being out of production in the US. The violet color and maraschino cherry give it an elegant appearance, but don’t be fooled. This sophisticated and intriguing cocktail may seem delicate, but it packs a powerful punch!
The Aviation Cocktail (Yield: 1 cocktail)
2 ounces gin
½ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce maraschino liqueur
¼ ounce crème de violette
Maraschino cherry for garnish
1. Mix the gin, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake until chilled, then strain into a cocktail glass
2. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.