3/4 oz Apple Brandy (Laird's 7.5 or Calvados)
1 oz Bonal Gentian Quina
1/2 oz Strega
1 dash Orange Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
One of the first drinks that I came up with for the Women of the Wild West-themed Whiskey and Amari night was the Belle Starr. For a direction, I based the drink off of the Marconi Wireless-like Star Cocktail for obvious reasons. I split the apple brandy into apple and whiskey, swapped the sweet vermouth for Bonal, and added Strega to take it in a Green Point or Nonantum Cocktail direction. The first pass used rye and Yellow Chartreuse and these would make a fine substitution. For a history of Belle Starr, I will turn to what I wrote in the Facebook event page:
Belle Starr, the Bandit Queen, is another Woman of the Wild West to be honored next Monday in drink. Born Myra Belle Shirley, she spent much of her childhood as a spoiled rich kid, until the Kansas-Missouri Border War broke out which took her brother and destroyed her family business. A few years later, after the James-Younger Gang robbed a bank, Myra was smitten by one of the robbers, James Reed whom she later married, gave them shelter, and became a member of the gang. Her parents had no objection to the marriage since James was not yet a wanted man and they lived a good, upstanding life in Texas. Until they moved back to Missouri where Reed was indeed a wanted man for allegedly murdering a man. So they fled to California, where outlaw life caught up and led to Reed's demise via gunfire. Myra then married Sam Starr, formed a gang, and entered upon a life of rustling, horse stealing and bootlegging whiskey to Indians. The lifestyle was lucrative and they used the extra money to bail out gang members; when that wouldn't work, Belle Starr would use her womanly charms. Her arrests and being written up in the Police Gazette had turned her into a western folk hero, "a female Robin Hood and a Jesse James." Her career ended during an ambush at age 41. A lot of her infamy came after her death including some from stories told by her daughter, Pearl, who enhanced her mom's outlaw image by running brothels in the West from the late 19th century until World War I.The Belle Starr's lemon twist oils joined the aroma of the apple brandy. An apple and grape sip led into a whiskey swallow with an herbal and bitter finish. Indeed, the end result was somewhere between the two drinks I based it off of and perhaps close to the Woxum from the Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book as well.
"I regard myself as a woman who has seen much of life."
- Belle Starr stated to the The Fort Smith Elevator about one year prior to her death.