Monday, January 31, 2011


2 oz Campari
3/4 oz Crème de Cassis (G.E. Massenez)
1 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

On Tuesday night, it was time for another revisiting of an old recipe from our pre-blog days, but unlike the Arsenic and Old Lace, not one that Jess had written about here. The Teresa was a drink I found while searching for a crème de cassis recipe, although these days I probably would have been lured to it in a search for Campari. The Teresa stems from Gary Regan's The Joy of Mixology and Gary credits Spanish cocktail aficionado Rafael Ballesteros for its creation. Gary commented that, "I'm at a loss to fathom how this dedicated cocktailian put these flavors together in his head, but the resultant drink is a complex marvel." To me, the basic format reminds me of a bittered Mississippi Mule with the lemon swapped for the lime and the gin swapped for the Campari; similarly absurd things have been done with this bitter liqueur like the Anvil Bar exchanging the gin for Campari in the classic Alexander. Indeed, not only was the Teresa memorable and worth retrying, the recipe moved Jackson Cannon of Eastern Standard to come up with at least 3 variations of this drink (one of which appears in LUPEC Boston's The Little Black Book of Cocktails); we were tempted to make one of the variations instead, but we stuck with the original that night.
The liqueurs in the Teresa contributed to the nose that consisted of Campari's sharp note combined with the cassis' dark berry aroma. Just like in the nose, the lime was the most subtle of the three ingredients on the tongue and it seemed to be there more for balance than as a flavor itself. With that said, unlike the Mississippi Mule, I later became doubtful that the Teresa would work as well with lemon as the citrus, so perhaps the lime notes were playing a larger role than I first thought. Interestingly, Andrea and I tasted the drink differently. While I got the cassis on the sip followed by the Campari and lime on the swallow, Andrea tasted the Campari early and the cassis later along with the lime. Except for the Campari aftertaste, the drink was in perfect balance -- it was neither too sharp, too sweet, or too sour. Perhaps this can partially be attributed to the smooth potency of the cassis to round out the Campari's rough and lime's crisp edges.


Nicole said...

Hmm, this sounds interesting, I'll give it a try sometime.

Nicole said...

Tried this last night and agree 100% with Andrea's tasting notes. :) The Campari after taste wasn't 100% pleasant for me, I think I'd prefer a drink with half the Campari replaced with gin.

frederic said...

The partial gin replacement was actually one of the changes Jackson Cannon did in his variation series (although not the same as just replacing half). I should do one of the variations soon.

Tony Harion said...

See, this is why I come around!

Unusual combination, something I’d never mix myself, but got interested.

I can see the gin being nice here and maybe an orange zest too.