Monday, November 21, 2011


1 oz Cocchi Americano
3/4 oz Anchor Distilling Junipero Gin
1/2 oz Carpano Antica Sweet vermouth
1/2 oz Gobelsburger Rosé Wine
1/4 oz Cynar
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After leaving the Shakin' It Up event two Sundays ago, I walked across the Mass Ave bridge and made my way over to Craigie on Main. Craigie's bar was double staffed with Ted Gallagher and Jared Sadoian, and I felt quite lucky that there was an open seat for me. When I mentioned that I had never had their Alphonse, Ted suggested that I give it a try. The drink was named after Alphonse Mucha, a Czech painter who moved to Paris at the beginning of the Art Nouveau movement. Mucha's work is noted for his earth tones, feminine forms, and ornate borders. He is often best remembered for his advertising work for Champagnes and other products that made him rather wealthy. The drink was crafted as a result of diners asking for libations to have with food; therefore, the Alphonse was created to be lighter in style and more acidic of a drink.
The Alphonse's nose contained the Carpano Antica's grape aroma that was spiked with Junipero's piny note. The sip offered up a complex layering of wine flavors from the sweet vermouth, Cocchi Americano, and rosé along with a lemon-like zing. Next, the swallow came in two phases with the first being the gin with darker herbal hints from the Cynar and the second being orange notes with a lingering juniper signature. I was quite impressed at how much of a workhorse the Junipero gin was in this drink; the last time I remember noting this was in John Gertsen's Mission of Burma.

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