Tuesday, January 27, 2009

[van der gin]

Citadelle Reserve Gin
Housemade Van Der Orange Liqueur

Stir gin and Van Der Orange with ice and strain into a cocktail glass pre-rinsed with Ricard.

For my second drink at Rendezvous, Scott wanted me to try his work in progress. His drink used "Van der Orange" which is his housemade orange liqueur perhaps named or modeled after the Van der Hum liqueur. The liqueur is blended from white wine, vodka, Sevilla oranges, cinammon, vanilla, and sugar; the oranges were not just the peels but the whole fruit put through a food processor. The gin he used was a barrel-aged version very similar in citrus and spice notes to the regular Citadelle gin but with a pale gold color and a softer and smoother taste as you would expect from oak aging. Scott was still playing with the ratios but used a near equal (4:3) for my drink.

Andrea and I had different taste impressions of the cocktail. For her, the drink was very orange dominant from her first sip; she stated that it was "like a drop of orange oil". For me, the Ricard rinse pushed the drink to being anise-dominant. At least at first, for as my taste buds got acclimated to that flavor, the orange started to shine through for me; however, it took over half the drink for me to sense what Andrea did immediately. Scott seemed pleased when my post-drink comments included that it was kind of Pegu-like plus pastis [1].

[1] As a tangential note about the Pegu Club cocktail, I am in agreement with Doug from The Pegu Blog that the preferred recipe is 1 1/2 oz gin, 1/2 oz fresh lime juice, 1/2 oz Cointreau, and 2 dashes Angostura shaken until painfully cold (I tend to use Bombay gin). This recipe is often a little brash for people and most bars tend towards a sweeter drink for that reason. However, the ratio I prefer ends up tasting like gin and grapefruit juice with the latter being due to the interplay of the lime, orange liqueur, and bitters.

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