Saturday, September 26, 2009

lioness (of brittany)

1 1/4 oz Amber Rum (Pampero)
3/4 oz Grand Marnier
3/4 oz Darjeeling Tea (Cooled)
1/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass pre-rinsed with absinthe (or pastis). Garnish with a lemon twist.

After Jeff asked us to design a recipe for the Grand Marnier event, I started scheming with Andrea about what sort of drink we should create. My earliest recollection of a Grand Marnier fanatic was a Boston-area club promoter who dressed like a pirate. He carried a satchel containing Grand Marnier, which he drank out of a wine glass. Once we established a pirate theme, the drink worked itself out. Clearly, it had to be a rum-based cocktail. We designed the drink around Lemon Hart 80 demerara rum, but only specified an amber rum. We wanted Grand Marnier to be a major flavor component; however, we tried to balance the liqueur amount and other drier components to produce something not overly sweet. We originally tried a dry sherry but that did not seem to work as well as planned, so we opted for some tea for its flavor and dryness. The lemon was added to complement the Grand Marnier citrus notes and, in thinking of pirates, to prevent the onset of scurvy. To add a bit of complexity to the drink, we opted for an absinthe rinse which added an 1800s feel to the drink.
As for a name, we went earlier than 1800s -- a lot earlier. Knowing that it was in part a LUPEC event, we decided on naming it after a bad-assed female pirate with a good story. The Lioness of Brittany was born Jeanne-Louise de Belleville in 1300. She eventually married a nobleman after she was widowed and became known as Jeanne de Clisson. Her husband was viewed with suspicion by the French during the Breton War of Succession which drove him to help the British. This treasonous act led to his beheading; and his execution led to Jeanne becoming enraged at the death of her husband of 13 years and vengeful against the French King. Jeanne promptly sold off her land and purchased three ships, which she had painted all black with sails dyed red. With these ships, she became one of the more bloody pirates in history. Her standard protocol was to kill all but two or three of the French sailors who were kept alive to carry back the message that the Lioness had struck again. For 13 years she extracted revenge - for the full length of her marriage before the execution. After this period, she retired and re-married. (*)

The drink appeared to be a success on Monday. It was easy to spot from a distance how often a bartender was absinthe rinsing a glass. I think that Drink's choice of Pampero rum worked rather well in this drink, and the tea and absinthe notes were strong enough to play a supporting role in this drink as intended. Nicole from ES commented that the drink had a caramel and creamy aspect to it akin to a Cow Tales candy perhaps due to the combination of the rum and Grand Marnier.

(*) Source:

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