Monday, February 16, 2009

casino imperial

Last night, Andrea and I went to the the anti-Valentine's Day industry bash at Eastern Standard which was quite a surreal experience. Their theme was Fourth of July replete with red, white, and blue drinks and a great brass band that slowly made laps through the restaurant space. Luckily we got there early so once it got beyond crowded to just plain packed, we decided it was time to leave and have a night cap at Craigie on Main on the way home. Tommy was in the process of departing to go to the event we had just left, but we did not fear since Mike was at the bar. Andrea spotted some espresso beans at the bar and asked Mike what the beans were being used for; she ended up getting the not-on-the-menu-yet coffee flip (muddled espresso-roast beans, coffee syrup, freshly brewed espresso, rye, Benedictine, Allspice Dram, egg, and bitters) [Post note: the drink was later named "The Awakening"]. I picked one of the new drinks off the menu, the Casino Imperial -- an "Apertif with Timeless Grace" -- perhaps to have a real Champagne cocktail to compare it to the beer ones I had made a few days prior.
Casino Imperial
• 4 oz Sparkling Wine
• 1 oz Calvados (Lecompte)
• 1 Sugar Cube
• A few dashes Herbsaint
• Large Lemon Peel
In a mixing glass, soak the sugar cube in Herbsaint. Partially fill a Champagne flute with sparkling wine and drop the Herbsaint-soaked sugar cube and large lemon peel into the flute. Float an ounce of Calvados over the top and serve.
The drink was a two or perhaps a three phase experience. The Casino Imperial at first was a very dry apple flavor where the Calvados and sparkling wine fooled the senses into thinking the drink was a dry sparkling cider from Normandy. A few sips after that, the apple flavor diminished and a hint of anise-seed and sweetness started to enter the drink from the Herbsainted sugar cube. I guess that there was a third phase which was just an intensification of the sweetness; the sugar cube never fully dissolved by the time I finished the drink, but gradually, it did shrink down to a quarter of the initial size over the duration. Overall, what was listed as an apertif did serve as a great nightcap.

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