Friday, March 19, 2010

dama de la noche

1 1/2 oz Brandy
1 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Torres Gran Torres Orange Liqueur
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Wet the edge of a cocktail glass with orange flower water and rim with sugar. Shake ingredients with ice and strain into glass. Garnish with five or six drops of orange flower water.

My second drink at Dalí on Monday was also from Charles H. Baker, Jr.'s South American Gentleman's Companion. I asked Greg Rossi to make me a Dama de la Noche which was listed on the menu as stemming from the Panagra Country Club in Medellin, Columbia, where Baker quaffed it in 1949. The drink started with a very sweet orange blossom water nose which Andrea described as "ambrosial." The drink name seems to suggest a lady of ill repute; however, given the strong floral aroma, I had my doubts. Indeed, it is probably named after the flowers of a woody shrub, Cestrum nocturnum, that emit their strong fragrance only at night (and hopefully, someone with the book can confirm this for me, if it is at all mentioned in the text). While the aroma prepared you for something rather sweet, the drink was not overly so. The pineapple and orange liqueur proved to be an interesting pairing with the brandy adding some extra kick and dryness to the equation. The orange-pineapple pairing plus orange flower water reminded me of the pisco-based César Moro; however, the César Moro used Cointreau while this version of the Dama de la Noche used the more flavorful Torres orange liqueur (not sure what liqueur the original recipe recommends, but Dalí is a Spanish tapas restaurant after all). Tasted alone, the Torres was brandy-based and spicy; it was thick but did not seem all that sweet similar to Grand Marnier. In the drink, the pineapple juice seemed to temper the Torres' spice and thick mouthfeel.

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