The Alan Shepard Cocktail is in honour of the second man to travel in space. Shepard was also the first to be in on board control of a spacecraft, while Yuri Gagarin’s Vostok 1 had emergency controls available only.
Shepard’s flight was aboard the Mercury Freedom 7 spacecraft, launched atop the Redstone rockets. He travelled to 116 miles in altitude before splashing down over 300miles from the launch pad. The flight lasted just 15 mins.
Following the cancellation of the Mercury Program, Alan Shepard became chief astronaut on the Gemini program and and would have flown the first manned mission, Gemini 3 but was grounded due to sickness. Shepard returned to space as the commander of Apollo 14.
The Alan Shepard Cocktail – a Cigar Smoked Tin Cup Old Fashioned
Alan Shepard has been described as “Don Draper in a Spacesuit”, this cool, hip, martini-drinking, cigar-smoking bad-boy astronaut fighter jock. For his cocktail, we’re taking inspiration from that, as well as the tin cup – a reference to the cramped Mercury capsule that carried Alan Shepard to space.
As with any Old Fashioned cocktail (which I have to admit is my favourite style) the ingredients are stirred together with ice. I generally prefer to use a sugar syrup instead of the cube, but the cube is certainly more authentic. Just make sure its fully dissolved and you’ll be fine. One of my pet peeves is having an old fashioned which is far sweeter at the end that at the beginning, or even worse, crunchy! Alan Shepard wouldn’t have accepted that and neither should you.
Strain the drink over fresh ice in an old fashioned (rocks) glass and garnish with a cherry and an orange peel twist. Again, I’m not a fan of cocktail cherries, but in the 60s they were all the rage! The whole drink is then smoked with a little applewood and cigar tobacco.
I’ve never been a smoker but I have to admit I do like the smell of a cigar being lit up – in small doses at least. You can smoke cocktails by simply lighting the material on a non flammable surface and trapping the smoke with the drink, but the Smoking Gun is a much more convenient and effective method.