Crystal Skull 14

Crystal Skull 14” created by Deric Witt. Step aside Mr. Bond. Deric Witt doesn’t just make tasty, award-winning cocktails (he won third place in the Crystal Head Vodka competition in San Francisco this summer), he is also a pilot, a former Naval Search and Rescue Air Crewman, a swimming and snowboarding instructor,

and he knows how to drill on an oilrig. A true Jack-of-all-trades, Mr. Witt shows off his talents behind the bar including an entertaining display of Tom-Cruise-in-Cocktail-style bottle juggling. Unsurprisingly, he possibly gets as much attention from the ladies as Bond, but perhaps that’s due to his charm.

Using quadruple-distilled Crystal Head Vodka that is made completely additive-free using glacial water from Newfoundland, Deric created a drink that is both satisfying and surprising. The dark color, the use of Cynar and All Spice Dram make this mixture appear like it would be more suited with bourbon or whiskey. But after the first sip you understand exactly what he’s doing with it. It’s the perfect balance between sweet and tart, something Deric says he tries to master in all his cocktails.

Deric named the Crystal Skull 14 after the controversial archaeological mystery of 13 crystal skulls found in regions around the world, dated between 5,000 to 35,000 years old. The skulls were discovered in areas from the American southwest to Tibet.

The legendary actor Dan Aykroyd and fine artist John Alexander, who were avid researchers of the legend of the 13 crystal heads, founded Crystal Head Vodka, and its unusual bottle of quality and complexity sits above all others on a bar.

For a dose of the Crystal Skull 14, you can find Deric Witt at Fish and Farm in the Mark Twain Hotel downtown. But go quickly before his self-professed kaleidoscopic nature turns him into a rocket scientist or maybe even an acrobat.

¾ oz Crystal Head Vodka
Two slices of lemon peel
¾ Cynar
½ Lime juice
½ Agave nectar
¼ St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
Garnish – burnt orange chip

Muddle the lemon peels with the vodka. Add the other ingredients and shake well with ice. Strain and serve into a chilled martini glass. Hold a small piece of orange peel over a lighter or match and squeeze over the drink until the oils from the orange produce a small spark. This takes some practice and isn’t essential (after all, we can’t all spin liquor bottles in the air without dropping them), but it looks very impressive and adds a nice finish.