Wednesday, June 29, 2011


3-4 oz oz Unibroue Éphémère Beer
1 oz St. Germain
1/6 Granny Smith Apple (cubed)
Camargo Absinthe (rinse)
Angostura Bitters (garnish)

Muddle apple in St. Germain. Add 1 oz of beer and strain into a wine glass that was pre-rinsed with absinthe. Add 2-3 oz more beer and garnish with several drops of Angostura Bitters.

Two Mondays ago, we went to Estragon in the South End for their delicious Spanish tapas; Monday is also the night that bartender Sahil Mehta works. I met Sahil at a Domaine de Canton competition a few weeks ago, and his drink impressed me for how he dealt with the large amount of sugary liqueur in his recipe. When we were faced with a similar situation at a Grand Marnier event, Andrea and I ended up using a combination of black tea and lemon juice to hit the proper balance in the Lioness (of Brittany). Instead, Sahil utilized a fruit-infused vinegar to cut down on the sweetness of the large slug of liqueur in his recipe. In essence, he was creating a quick and dirty ginger shrub, and that sort of out of the box thinking impressed me. This thought process also helps out considering that Estragon, like Coppa, has a cordial license which means that an extra degree of craftiness and creativity is often necessary to create cocktails.
For my first drink, I asked Sahil to make me the Starbird for the concept of apple-flavored Belgian-style beer, apple, and absinthe drink sounded intriguing. Sahil explained that the drink came together for he enjoys the culinary combination of apple and fennel and he converted this pairing into a beverage. The drink's nose was initially the absinthe notes, but over time a sour maltiness appeared that was later joined by apple aromas. The sip was crisp from the beer's carbonation and the Granny Smith's malic acid and contained a pleasing amount of St. Germain's fruity and floral flavors. Next, the beer's hops worked well with the absinthe and apple on the swallow; moreover, Andrea specifically commented about how much she enjoyed the absinthe-beer combination.

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