Tuesday, May 25, 2010

fourth voyage

2 oz Neisson Rhum Agricole Blanc
3/4 oz Averna
1/4 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 barspoon Riga Black Balsam

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

On Wednesday, Andrea and I made our way over to No. 9 Park where wine whiz Brendon was tending bar. Soon I was lured into the Fourth Voyage on the cocktail menu by the rhum agricole in the drink's description. One ingredient that was left out of the description was Riga Black Balsam which is a potable bitter liqueur from Latvia. Tasting it straight, this liqueur was a bit sharp and stinging with a lingering herbal note. It reminded Andrea of a "cacao-ish Fernet Branca," although this herbal note was related but not the same as Fernet's menthol-like one. Although in a pinch, Fernet Branca or Santa Maria al Monte might make a decent substitute. With the Fourth Voyage, its flavors would supplement the Averna rather well.
The Fourth Voyage started with the aroma of of rhum agricole on the nose with a hint of Averna and apricot. On the sip, the Averna and apricot liqueur donated a sweet richness and made for an interesting pairing over the hot hogo (fusel oil) funk of the rhum agricole. Moreover, the Neisson rhum contributed a salty mineralness as well. Lastly, the lemon juice added the right amount of acid crispness which paired nicely with the apricot on the swallow.

3 comments:

drinksnob said...

When you say "phenolic", do you mean "barnyard" or "bandage"? Trying to figure out the best sub.

frederic said...

Perhaps phenolic wasn't the right term. Related to menthol (which contains a ring, but not a phenol ring) in some ways was what I meant.

helena said...

i have a whole bottle of Riga Balsam - this is a great starter. Back in Russia it was used mostly to flavor a black coffee... And the comparison to Fernet Branca is an interesting one - maybe i should try to use Balsam as a substitute...