Wednesday, February 17, 2010

esmeralda

1 1/2 oz Cachaça (Isaura Ouro 3 Year)
1/2 oz St. Germain
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass rinsed with a smoky Scotch (Caol Ila 12 Year).

Last Thursday while at the Boston Shaker's St. Germain event, I mentioned to Kate, our St. Germain and hopefully soon Creme Yvette rep, that we were going to the cachaça event at the Franklin Southie afterward. Kate mentioned that the folk at Drink had a great cachaça and St. Germain recipe that they were making for a while, and when I expressed interest in the drink, she immediately sent a text off to Ben Sandrof. Soon after, I experienced my first recipe via text message (I know it's a phenomenon with bartenders needing a recipe at that moment, but for me, things are rarely that fast paced)! I spoke to Ben a few days later when I saw him at the Eastern Standard anti-Valentine's Day event and told him how much we enjoyed the drink. He shared the story of the the Esmeralda, a drink he created using and named after the Armazem Viera's Esmeralda Cachaça and how the recipe traveled across the country to end up on San Francisco's Laïola's cocktail menu.
At first, the Esmeralda's nose was an elegant smoky Scotch aroma, but over time the cachaça grassy-funky notes started appearing as well. The sip started with sweet St. Germain and lime flavors followed by cachaça and Scotch's funk and smoke, respectively, on the swallow. The drink was nicely balanced although slightly on the sweet side especially compared to most other Daisy-style drinks I have had lately. The Esmeralda worked for two main reasons. The first was how well the lime and St. Germain paired up, and the second and more important was how the Scotch and cachaça interacted. The Scotch brought out an entirely different side to cachaça than ginger did in the Maison Leblon, a more earthy than spicy one. Moreover, it made me recall how it was the smoke notes in the Rochinha Cachaça I had tasted a few months before that made it so tasty; Rochinha's producers obviously understand the flavor pairing magic as well as they purchase used Scotch barrels instead of utilizing indigenous woods for their barrel aging step.

No comments: