Tuesday, March 2, 2010

the gerty

3/4 oz Rye (Sazerac 6 Year)
3/4 oz Peychaud's Bitters
3/4 oz Herbsaint or Absinthe (Herbsaint)
3/4 oz Simple Syrup

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Twist a lemon peel over the top.

The theme for last week's Mixoloseum Thursday Drink Night was, "creating original drinks named after or based on your favorite or other notable bartender." For some reason, John Gertsen's Mission of Burma popped into my head. While it probably was not a big surprise that I picked Gertsen as the notable bartender for this theme, the fact that I chose this drink over his others might be. I think it was the Mission of Burma's absurdity as an inverse Pegu Club in combination with how well it worked. He succeeded in balancing the whopping amount of Grand Marnier without having the end result being cloyingly sweet in balance. In coming up with an idea, I also thought of a recipe in the Rogue Cocktail Book, the Gunshop Fizz, which uses a whole 2 ounces of Peychaud's Bitters; thus, Peychaud's Bitters could be used as potable bitters like Angostura Bitters in the Trinidad Sour. While we have not made the Gunshop Fizz, my faith in that cocktail book's recipes has grown with each recipe I have made in it to the point that I rarely doubt it. And with those two ideas, the concept of an inverse or better stated equal parts Sazerac was born. It also helped that Gertsen, while at No. 9, made me a variety of Sazeracs from traditional rye to old fashioned Cognac to new school ones like gin.
For a name of the drink, the Gertsen seemed too blatant, and the Gertserac and Gertsenac were shot down as too hokey by Andrea. The folk at Thursday Drink Night suggested "The Gerty" which stuck. Once mixed, the first thing that is so striking is the color of this drink -- a strange red hue of the bitters combined with the cloudiness from the Herbsaint's louche. The next sense was the smell which was a vibrant lemon oil and anise aroma. The sip was rich with cherry and anise flavors from the Peychaud's Bitters that was supplemented by the anise notes in the Herbsaint; intriguingly, the cherry notes brought about an almost sloe gin sort of effect. These flavors were chased by the complexity from the other botanicals in the Herbsaint and bitters and from the rye's heat. When Andrea tried the drink, she detected chocolate notes in the mix which could be from the Herbsaint for certain absinthes like Obsello contain this flavor as well. While the sugar content balance turned out rather well, the drink lacked the crispness of a Sazerac and the proportion's shift morphed the Gerty into an entirely unique creation.


Rowen said...

Wow! I'm just trying to imagine that quantity of Peychaud's. I'll have to give this a try.

Pantagruel said...

I missed this TDN (excuse: bachelor party in Amsterdam), but I saw this and had to give it a try, the Sazerac being a favorite of mine.

I'm enjoying it now, quite interesting. Reminds me of an absinthe drip but with the bright cherry notes from the Peychaud's. I actually barely notice the Rye, but I assume it helps keep things in check.