Friday, October 23, 2009

big star

1 oz Gin (Beefeater)
1 oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Galliano
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a star anise.

For last night's Thursday Drink Night (every Thursday from 7pm E.S.T. onward) on Mixoloseum, the theme was "Not Absinthe". All aniseseed- or star anise-based spirits save for absinthe were fair game including aquavit, arak, anisette, pastis, Becherovka, ouzo, and Sambuca. I got creative and chose one that was not in the announcement's list -- Galliano, a complex herbal liqueur flavored with anise, star anise, vanilla, and other botanicals. The thought of star anise for some reason made me think of the influential 70's band Big Star which became not only the soundtrack for drink creation but the name of the cocktail as well.
The first sip of the Big Star was a bit sharp in a Campari sort of way; however, that sharpness faded rapidly after the first sip. After that brief acclimation stage, the drink was a very herbal and complex citrus cocktail. The anise notes seemed to appear earlier in the drink and the vanilla notes surfaced more towards the end of the glass.

As a side note, I cannot hear about or drink Galliano without thinking of this amazing paranoid delusional phone call that a late night WFMU DJ received. The description of "over the course of four and a quarter paranoid minutes the caller pressed his case for why the Galliano bottle is an instrument of pure evil and should be removed from the market permanently" only scratches the surface of the story. Reminds me of the joys of doing late night college radio back in the day. Remember, the bottle should just pick up and pour a drink. Enjoy!

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