Sunday, May 15, 2011

lilac domino

This month's Mixology Monday theme, "Flores de Mayo: Floral Cocktails." (MxMo LVII), was picked by Dave of the Barman Cometh blog. Dave's challenge was "to feature a cocktail that highlights a floral flavor profile or includes a floral derived ingredient, whether home-made or off the shelf."

This month's theme was easy to pick an ingredient for as I had just purchased a bottle of Crème Yvette but had not found a reason to open it yet. This liqueur created in 1890 falls under the general category of Crème de Violette; beside violet flower, Crème Yvette includes berries, citrus peel, and honey to make a rounder profile than the Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette. Crème Yvette had been defunct for a few decades before Cooper Spirits, the people who make Saint Germain, resurrected the recipe and brought it into production. I first tasted the liqueur at Tales of the Cocktail in 2009 and the company dithered for a bit as they perfected the recipe and the packaging and finally released it a little over a year later.
It was time to open our bottle, but first a recipe! One of the drinks that caught my eye in the past was the Lilac Domino in the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book. The drink was created by Lilian Gerrard, an UK bartender, and the recipe falls somewhere between an Aviation and a Star Daisy. Like the Star Daisy, Blue Skies, and Pink Lady, the base was a mix of gin and apple brandy (here Calvados instead of applejack). For the sweet and sour components, the Lilac Domino balances the floral Crème Yvette and herbal Yellow Chartreuse with lemon juice. The recipe is as follows:
Lilac Domino
• 1/3 Calvados (1 oz Morin Selection)
• 1/3 Gin (1 oz Knockabout)
• 1/6 Yellow Chartreuse (1/2 oz)
• 1/6 Crème Yvette (1/2 oz)
• Juice of 1/4 Lemon (1/2 oz)
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cocktail cherry (Luxardo).
In the drink, the Crème Yvette paid dividends in the aroma for it donated both floral and berry notes. The sip was rich with fruit flavor that was a medley of lemon, berry, and apple. Next, the swallow was full of botanical elements from the gin, Chartreuse, and violet liqueur. With lilacs in bloom this past week or two, I knew that the drink was not very similar in aroma; however, the color of this drink was indeed reminiscent of many lilac varietals.
Well, that explains the lilac part of the drink's name, but the domino aspect? The domino here is not the game piece tile, but a small mask that covers around the eyes like one worn during a carnival or masquerade. A lilac one? Well, Lilac Domino was the name of an operetta that was first performed on stage in 1912 where a gambling count falls in love with a noblewoman wearing that mask at a masquerade ball. To line it up with the recipe, the musical was released as a movie in the UK in 1937, the same year the Café Royal Cocktail Book was published.

So a little bit of love, flowers, and intrigue all facilitated by a spot of booze. Thanks to Dave for bringing this theme into bloom and to Paul Clarke for keeping the florist shop open this late at night.


Kennedy @ That's the Spirit said...

Wow. It's amazing how many tasty sounding drinks I've seen during this MxMo. Chartreuse and Calvados? I'm excited. (And I really like the glassware. I recently found a bunch just like it in an antique barn.) Thanks for sharing.

frederic said...

We have these and a narrower version (which we got rather cheep -- 10 for $7.50 or so). I believe they are Candlewick Depression Glass or replicas thereof.

Kennedy @ That's the Spirit said...

Nice. I will have to look for more info on glassware. Thanks for the starting point. The antique joints in my vicinity have some really good deals on some funky looking stuff. A cool glass is only second to a cool drink :)

frederic said...

Don't neglect Salvation Army stores and the like. Many have decent glassware for 49-99 cents a piece!

We do travel to go glassware shopping with a Mecca about an hour away (an old sea side town that draws traffic with their antique shops).

The next problem you'll face in the future is where to store all of your glassware as it overflows your shelves...