Wednesday, August 17, 2011


3/4 jigger Sherry (2 1/4 oz Dry Amontillado, see text)
1/4 jigger Vermouth (3/4 oz Vya Sweet)
1 dash Green Chartreuse (1/4 oz)
1 dash Fernet Branca (1/4 oz)
1 dash Grenadine (1/4 oz)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Tuesday last week, we were in the mood for something light, so I grabbed our copy of Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and began flipping through the wine section. When I spotted the Meditation, it reminded me of the Amour Cocktail with a change in the bitters or perhaps a Bamboo depending on whether the "vermouth" in the Meditation was instead interpreted as dry. Indeed, I was quite impressed at how modern the drink appeared with its combination of Fernet Branca and Green Chartreuse -- two of modern mixologist's fetish liqueurs used here about a century ago. The last time I had this sacred liqueur pairing it was in the Grasshopper Lies Heavy in early July. In making the drink, I opted for a dry sherry and a sweet vermouth instead of using one of our sweeter sherries with a dry vermouth (double sweet or double dry pairings were options as well). The first iteration was with the flavorful Lustau dry Oloroso; this seemed to overwhelm some of the flavors so I remade the drink later with their dry Amontillado with better success. Perhaps a more delicate sherry, like a Fino or Manzanilla, would allow some of the other flavors to blossom further in the drink.
The Meditation greeted our noses with a sherry aroma accented with Fernet Branca's botanicals. Next, the sip presented a grape flavor from the sherry and vermouth, and the swallow contained the sherry's nutty note mingling with herbal elements of the Fernet and Chartreuse liqueurs. Lastly, a lingering light menthol note from the Fernet helped to close out the drink.

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