Thursday, January 21, 2010

linda fiesta

1/3 Pisco (1 oz Cesar Pisco)
1/3 Dry or Sweet Vermouth (1 oz Dolin Dry)
1/6 Apricot Brandy (1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot)
1/6 Cointreau (1/2 oz)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

On Tuesday night, I started flipping through our 1972 edition of Trader Vic's Bartender's Guide in a quest for a rye cocktail. Before I got to the whiskey section, I got distracted by a pisco drink, the Linda Fiesta. What sounds like a great stripper name translates into "beautiful celebration" and marries the pisco brandy with fruit liqueurs and vermouth. With one third of the drink being sugar-laden spirits, I opted for dry vermouth to help balance the sweetness balance of the drink. The choice of vermouth would also greatly change the appearance of the drink for the three other ingredients are clear or slightly pale and sweet vermouth would shift the color to a more opaque and reddish one. I did find it a little odd how a critical ingredient identity was left to choice.
On the sip, the pisco's spice was detectable first with orange flavors in the middle, and apricot and vermouth botanical notes appearing on the swallow. The Cointreau seemed to smooth the drink over well such that Andrea wondered if it had been the duct tape of cocktails of that era akin to how St. Germain is often considered now. While I added an orange twist to the recipe, a dash of Angostura or Peychaud's bitters might bring the Linda Fiesta to an even higher level. And in retrospect, the drink also reminds me of the pisco-Cointreau-dry vermouth containing Cesar Moro from a few months ago.


dave said...

When I see drinks heavy on the sweet ingredients and calling for apricot brandy, I'll usually try it once with R&W or the like and again with an apricot eau-de-vie. I've been playing with Jeffrey Morgenthaler's Solera Club over the past few days: sherry (sweet or dry), Cynar, absinthe, and apricot brandy. Liqueur is called for, but I tried all factorial combinations of sherry and brandy. It's an interesting exercise, even if oftentimes there's no clear winner. Different drinks for different times/palates.

frederic said...

Hmm... perhaps I should reconsider getting a bottle of Blume Marillen Apricot Eau de Vie. I opted to find a bar with it on the shelf so that I could have a Dulchin (it was on the Anvil's 100 Drink list). Currently we only have Kirsch and apple.

dave said...

I finally came back to this with the Blume Marillen (my road block had been the pisco). It's a really fantastic, slightly off-dry aperitif in that incarnation. Highly recommended.