1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1 oz Avèze Gentian Liqueur
1 barspoon Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)
1 barspoon Lemon Juice
Muddle 2 blackberries with Maraschino and lemon juice. Add rest of the ingredients and ice. Stir and double strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with an orange peel-blackberry flag on a cocktail pick.
For the Avèze recipe competition, I began to reflect on all of the gentian liqueur-containing cocktails I have had and what flavor combinations really shined. After having a White Negroni and other gin-based drinks, I discovered through PDT's Brown Bomber that gentian liqueurs seem to pair better with whiskey. What improved the Brown Bomber's Lillet Blanc was the Harry Palmer's call for sweet vermouth. And finally, Tyler Wang at No. 9 Park's L'Année du Mexique first demonstrated how well gentian works with blackberry notes. For a name, I wanted something French to represent the origin of the Avèze, and my mind drifted over to French literature that was written around the time that the liqueur was created in the 1920s. A lot of the French literature I have read of that era is from the Surrealists, and Philippe Soupault's charming Last Nights Of Paris was written within a year of Avèze's release. The book's capture of the intertwining of French and American modernism mirrors the French liqueur-American whiskey pairing here.