1 oz Bols Genever
1 oz Cognac
1 oz Punt e Mes
1 barspoon Fernet Branca
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
On Wednesday night, Andrea and I went down to Rendezvous to get dinner and cocktails. For my first drink, bartender Scott Holliday wanted to experiment with replacing whiskey in a classic cocktail and using the rather malty Bols Genever instead. The drink started as a Vieux Carré (minus the Angostura and Peychaud's bitters), and with my ingredient suggestions, he rounded the drink out with Punt e Mes and Fernet Branca in place of sweet vermouth and Bénédictine, respectively, for what I dubbed the Central Carré. The barspoon of Fernet seemed to be just the right amount so as not to overwhelm the drink with menthol notes. The Fernet did have a subtle appearance in the cocktail's nose along with stronger grapey elements from the Punt e Mes. The Fernet donated a light level of bitter complexity with minimal aftertaste; instead, it was the Punt e Mes flavors that lingered. The Punt e Mes and Bols Genever botanicals did merge a bit with the Fernet Branca's and they added an air of dryness to the drink. Furthermore, the Genever and Punt e Mes combined to provide a malt and grape richness to the Cognac base.