Tuesday, October 13, 2009

sous le soleil

1/4 oz. Cynar
1/4 oz. Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)
1/4 oz. Mezcal (del Maguey Minero)
3/4 oz. Grand Marnier
1 1/2 oz. Cognac (Pierre Ferrand)
1 dash Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters

Stir with cracked ice and serve in a rocks glass.

A little bit of a delay on this post. OK, more than a little. My excuse is that I didn't receive the recipe for this cocktail until quite recently. The Sous le Soleil was Cali Gold's stellar (!) contribution to the Grand Marnier appreciation event held at Drink on 21 September. This cocktail was my 3rd of the evening, preceded by Matt Schrage's Hugo Ball (another Cynar-containing drink) and John's customary welcome-to-the-event punch.

Hugo is a tough act to follow. I decided to stay in the same part of the flavor spectrum, and the Sous le Soleil just blew me away. Mezcal and Cynar are a match made in heaven! The bittersweet artichoke (which still reminds me of Autocrat coffee syrup) blends perfectly with the toasty honey flavor in the mezcal, with flavors hitting all portions of the tongue. Cynar, Grand Marnier, mezcal, and cognac all taste a little sweetish, so the maraschino served to dry it out just a touch. The cognac smoothed out the drink and lengthened the experience of all the flavors, including the touch of orange from the Grand Marnier. This was my favorite cocktail of the night, and I savored it slowly, the way it deserved the be. I also recommended it to just about everyone there who passed within earshot.

I'd neglected to get any of the recipes for the Drink bartenders' contributions for that night, and I reminded myself that I *must* get this recipe the next time I saw Cali. Fortune smiled on me last Wednesday when I went to sample some of Eric Seed's new offerings at Drink - Cali was spending part of her day off at the tasting. I pestered her for the recipe, which she happily wrote down for me (blushing a little bit at my praise). John positively beamed with pride that his protegee was getting some well-deserved attention. I've been consistently impressed with Cali's mixing intuitions, which show a bit of daring (and I'm certainly in favor of that). I see a distinguished future for her in the craft cocktail world. Go Cali!

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