Review: Flying Fortress Red Head Cocktail
Here’s a curious product I received for review, bottled in a mason jar though sold commercially in 1.75 liter handles. It’s called Flying Fortress, and it’s a mix of cranberry juice, “secret spices,” and grain alcohol — sort of a spiced Cosmo that’s ready to drink.
Founders Dan and Eileen Doyon explain:
For years we have been making a premixed cocktail and filling mason jars with it and giving them out to our friends, neighbors, relatives, and business associates. When people started to call us and ask us if they could buy some from us, we thought…we may have something here! We soon met with a local spirits company who loved the product and they gave us a thumbs up for production. Within a week, we were searching for a business name. We agreed that we would somehow think of a name that would pay homage to the brave men and women who fought in WWII. Eileen’s dad served in WWII. I had always been amazed at B-17 bombers, also known as the “Flying Fortress.” I really wanted that name, and secured it. Nose Art was painted on the sides of the planes to boost morale, unify the crew and to make their plane unique to other B-17s. That is how we got the name for the cocktail. We call it, “The Red Head.” A delicious cranberry and spice cocktail.
I tried the product, which you’ll find available in and around New Hampshire. Thoughts follow.
The cloudy, dark-pink cocktail looks like it’s loaded with spices and it is. There’s a ton of cloves on the nose, followed by cinnamon and some almond notes — all with ample cranberry juice character underneath. It smells (and tastes) a lot more like a mulled wine or glogg then a cosmopolitan, though the cranberry’s considerable tartness takes things in a different direction. Cloves are particularly heavy on the finish.
It’s not complicated, but it’s altogether quite a fun little cocktail — and though it can be consumed hot or on ice, I’d recommend cracking into your bottle during the winter months. (And so would the Doyons!)
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