Friday, October 9, 2009

square dance

1 oz Square One Botanicals
1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz Dubbonet Rouge
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/4 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman and Winter Orchard Apricot)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Add 2 drops of rosewater to top of drink and serve.

Last night's Thursday Drink Night (TDN) on Mixoloseum was sponsored by Square One for their new Botanicals product. I first got to try Square One Botanicals at their tasting room at Tales of the Cocktail back in July. While they did not know whether to market their product as a flavored vodka or a specialty spirit, it came across as a gin sans juniper. Perhaps not fully like most gins since it lacks a lot of the standard gin botanicals like angelica root and the like, but contains some that are seen in gins on the market today. The 8 botanicals in the mix are pear, rose, chamomile, lemon verbena, lavender, rosemary, coriander, and citrus. The two botanicals that stood out the most to me were the pear and the lavender. Besides using all organic materials down to the rye in the spirit, the creators went to great effort to get the flavors the way they wanted them including using 3 different pears to get the desired flavor profile. I was lucky enough indeed to have received a bottle of their product as a sample to use for last night's TDN.

The drink I crafted was based after the Tango #1 Cocktail:
• 1 oz Gin
• 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
• 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
• 1/2 oz Orange Juice
• 1/4 oz Curacao
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
I kept with the dance theme in the naming, and besides swapping the base spirit, I exchanged the vermouths for Lillet Blanc and Dubonnet Rouge, the curacao for apricot liqueur, and added some rosewater. These ingredients complemented the Botanical's citrus and rose elements. I originally tried this drink with Rothman and Winter's Orchard Pear but it did not work as well as their apricot liqueur; the apricot liqueur seemed to complement the spirits' pear notes whereas the pear liqueur muddled them. Chuck Taggart's drink that night had a better solution -- pear eau de vie. People's reaction to the Square Dance at TDN was pretty positive perhaps due to it being "nice and refreshing".

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