Saturday, July 4, 2009


1 oz Dry Sherry (Lustau's Don Nuño Dry Oloroso)
1 oz Cynar
1 oz Aquavit (Aalborg)
2 dash Peach Bitters (Fee Brothers)

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

Last week, I finally bought a bottle of aquavit after frequently eying it when I went liquor shopping. Aquavit is a caraway flavored liquor in the same way that gin is a juniper flavored one. Apparently, there is as much variation in aquavits as there is in gins. The Aalborg Aquavit alone tasted of caraway but the flavor was tempered by the mix of other botanicals; in addition, it was not as harsh and intense tasting as the other caraway-flavored liquor we own, namely kümmel. On Friday night, when I asked Andrea what we should make with it, she already had the Trident in mind. The drink had mocked her ever since she saw it in Robert Hess' The Essential Bartender's Guide. She is a big fan of sherry cocktails and of the bitter artichoke-containing liqueur Cynar, so it was not a big surprise that she zoomed in on this recipe. The book describes how the drink was created by Hess in 2002 for the Zig Zag Cafe in Seattle, and looking at the recipe, it is indeed very similar to a Negroni with more common cocktail ingredients swapped out for more obscure ones.

Over all, the Trident did not disappoint. The sherry and lemon nose worked rather well together as a prelude to the first sip. The aquavit and Cynar combination was stunning and it was hard to tell where one began and the other ended. The drink was much sweeter than expected given the generally dry ingredients. This could be due to Cynar's cynarin content. Cynarin is a polyphenolic compound found in artichokes which does not taste sweet itself but makes everything afterwards taste a little sweeter. The Trident was definitely worth the price of the bottle of aquavit, and hopefully I will get to try a few other brands including Chicago's North Shore Distillery's version in the near future.


David Santucci said...

I think what was intended by "dry sherry" was probably something more like a manzanilla, or fino, which could explain why the drink was so sweet. Would be interesting to try with something else though. I have often wondered about the Aquavit too -- there is such a big difference between Aalborg and the woody, aged Linie, for example.

frederic said...

Their dry oloroso is apparently about as sweet as a fino and a lot drier than a normal oloroso. I definitely do want to try an aged Aquavit. I know that the North Shore version is aged. I think I'm rather limited by the 3 export brands or so that I can get here in Massachusetts relative to what is out there in Europe.

frederic said...

And funny that I have to come all the way to New Orleans to meet you. Cheers!

David Santucci said...

It was fun meeting you guys -- we will have to have you over for drinks sometime soon!