Thursday, February 10, 2011


1 1/2 oz Cognac
3/4 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur
1/4 oz Monin Orgeat

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

On Super Bowl Sunday, we decided to make good use of most people being in front of a television set by going to Drink where such technology luckily does not reside. Well, the quarter scores were put up on the letter board for those who were interested, but our attentions were on Will Thompson who would be our personal bartender for the night (although other people were sitting in our section in the early and later parts of the evening). The first drink Will made for me was his take on a Japanese. The concept started with Will liking the combination of Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur and Cynar; he found that the Cynar took away the flatness of the Zirbenz and the two worked together to make a more rounded flavor. With his love of the Japanese Cocktail, he swapped out the original's Boker's Bitters for a healthy slug of these two liqueurs. While Will did not have a name for this drink, I informally dubbed it here as the Kuromatsu -- the Japanese Black Pine.
The drink started with an orgeat and grape aroma that smelled both sweet and dark. Its sip was piny with a light sweetness, and as the drink warmed up, the orgeat flavors became more apparent. On the swallow, the Cynar and Cognac flavors pleasantly melded and the Zirbenz contributed an interesting minty note on the finish. I was quite surprised at how the orgeat was overwhelmed in this drink for it usually is a rather pervasive flavor. For all that the Commodore Perry was a lighter and fruitier Japanese riff, Will's take on the classic was darker and more complex.

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