Monday, May 14, 2012

neutral ground

2 oz Sazerac 6 Year Rye
1/2 oz Bénédictine
1/2 oz Dry Amontillado Sherry (Lustau)
3 dash Regan's Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

After the Thursday Drink Night event was over, Andrea was in the mood for a nightcap. Upon delving into the Big Bartender's Book, I spotted Rhiannon Enlil's Neutral Ground that she created at the Old Absinthe in New Orleans in 2008 before she eventually made her way over to the Cure Bar across town the following year. Neutral ground in New Orleans is the term for the median of a street; the term got its name from the stretch on Canal Street that separated the Creoles on the French Quarter side and the new Americans living on the other side at the turn of the 19th century. Given the tensions between the two groups, when they met up to do business, it was on this neutral area.
The Neutral Ground began with an orange oil and rye aroma that led into a grape and malt sip. The swallow began with the rye notes that were followed by Bénédictine's spice and sherry's nuttiness and ended with lingering orange notes from the bitters. Overall, the Neutral Ground was a bit less Manhattan-like than I had first expected perhaps due to the flavor differences between sherry and sweet vermouth.

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