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Growing up, Cocoa Puffs and Cinnamon Toast Crunch made an appearance on our breakfast table only once a year—while we were on our weeklong vacation at the cottage. My sister and I waited for that moment all year long. The rest of time, it was all Grape-Nuts and Raisin Bran all the time. Perhaps this sugar-high deprivation is why I’m so giddy at the idea of the new Magically Delicious brunch cocktail list at Russell House Tavern in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Inspired by his bar back Ben Thompson’s experiments with Cinnamon Toast Crunch–infused rum, bar manager Sam Gabrielli has invented four drinks made with breakfast cereal–infused spirits. He’s had some failures, like the mezcal that turned a cloudy gray color when steeped with Froot Loops, and Gabrielli hasn’t quite figured out what to do with his favorite Honey Nut Cheerios, but his successes are a lot of fun. So far he’s created the Applejacks Rose, Cinnamon Toast Mudslide, Golden Grahams Manhattan and the Cocoa Puffs Smash. The Smash is made with Cocoa Puffs–infused green Chartreuse, which was apparently conceived from an après ski tradition in the Alps where hot chocolate is served with a shot of green Chartreuse on the side.
Try it for yourself at brunch this weekend:
Cocoa Puffs Smash
Makes 1 drink
3 lemon wedges
6 to 8 fresh mint leaves, plus a mint sprig for garnish
2 ounces Cocoa Puffs–infused green Chartreuse (below)
Ice cubes and crushed ice
1/2 ounce crème de cacao, preferably Tempus Fugit
In a shaker, muddle the lemon wedges and mint leaves. Add the Chartreuse and crème de cacao; fill the shaker with ice cubes and shake well. Double-strain into a double old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with the mint sprig.
Cocoa Puffs–Infused Green Chartreuse
In a nonreactive bowl, crush 4 ounces of Cocoa Puffs. Add one 750 ml bottle green Chartreuse and mix vigorously. Let stand for at least 1 hour, or until the Chartreuse is infused with the flavor of the cereal. Strain the Chartreuse in a colander set over a bowl, then strain through cheesecloth. Strain into a bottle and refrigerate for up to 1 month.