Wednesday, July 16, 2008

cocktail à la louisiane (variation)

4 parts rye
1 part Benedictine
1 part sweet vermouth
Peychaud's bitters
absinthe rinse

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass rinsed with absinthe.

We went to Deep Ellum (Allston, MA) last night after eating at Grasshopper around the corner. Max Toste greeted us as soon as we sat down at the bar (which luckily for us is less filled now that the outdoor seating area has opened for the season) and proceeded to act as our personal cocktail tour guide. While Andrea went on a rum cocktail tour, I went with a New Orleans theme probably after reading and hearing about Tales of the Cocktail so much as of late.

I started my drinks with his variation on the brandy Sazerac (off his cocktail menu) which later launched into a discussion of the merits of sugar cubes to add texture to a drink (thickness and mouth-feel) while simple syrup adds more plain sweetness. It is definitely a theory I need to experiment in a side-by-side mixology session akin to how John Gertsen from No.9 demonstrated the taste differences between a shaken and a stirred martini.

The next two drinks were off his menu; despite Deep Ellum being know for the beer selection, they do have a rather decent cocktail menu and when Max is at the stick, a wealth of cocktail history and recipe wisdom as well. My second drink was a Cocktail à la Louisiane variation. The one I am used to and make at home, I first had at Green Street and that follows the recipe in the Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix 'Em book. That recipe can be found in Chuck Taggart's blog here. This variation was somewhere between the traditional and either a Sazerac or a Manhattan although Max compared it more to a Manhattan variation.

A very tasty drink and a lot lighter than the original recipe. Did not catch what ingredients he used other than Old Overholdt and I have no clue whether he spiked in some of his own house-made bitters to the mix.


Craig said...

Have you ever tried this drink w/ Punt E Mes subbed for the sweet vermouth? Obviously a more bitter component, maybe add a splash of simple syrup to counterbalance? I'm only asking b/c I'm currently out of Italian vermouth, too broke to get some more, and not fully stocked w/ herbs and aromatics to begin my own vermouth-making experiment.

On another note, what's the best way you've found to store Vya? The bottles have regular wine corks; I suppose I can use the vacuum wine stoppers I have to seal up the bottle, but they only sell it in large bottles and I don't want it to spoil. Thanks.

frederic said...

I'm guessing that it would work well with a spicier rye that could stand up to it; the Benedictine is sweet enough that the Punt e Mes shouldn't make it too dry. Also, the normal Louisiane is actually equal parts. I have had Punt e Mes in other rye cocktails and it complements the rye very well.

Our Vya bottles have cork caps which are easily replaced after opening.

Craig said...

Thanks. The last bottle of Vya that I had used a regular rubber wine cork, not a cap. Maybe they changed to make them easier to close?