Saturday, July 3, 2010

spring cocktail

1 1/2 oz Gin (Aviation)
1/2 oz Quinquina (Bonal)
1/2 oz Benedictine
1 dash Bitters (Angostura)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Thursday night after the TDN, Andrea was in the mood for a nightcap and specificially one that involved her new purchase of Bonal Gentiane Quina. Bonal is an aperitif wine I was introduced to by Eric Seed in a tasting room at Tales of the Cocktail last year, and it has recently hit the American market. Bonal functions very much like a sweet vermouth, but it has an added layer of bitter complexity from gentian root and cinchona bark which makes it rather delightful especially before dinner. Instead of using it as a sweet vermouth substitute, I searched for a cocktail that called out specifically for a quinquina and found one in both Trader Vic and Patrick Duffy. Taking a step back from the Beefeater Summer Edition, the drink I chose was called the Spring Cocktail. The Duffy version was scaled up and lacked the cocktail olive garnish that Trader Vic's recipe contained, and therefore, it seemed preferable.
The Spring Cocktail's nose was gentian from the Bonal and mint-like from the Benedictine. The sip was full of botanical notes; it was rich and spicy from the beginning of the sip to the end of the swallow. The mint-like note in the nose was also detectable as a tingle in the mouth that built up over successive sips. Furthermore, the Bonal really worked well with the Benedictine, and the gin functioned to hold together these two elements instead of being a dominant flavor.


Ben L said...

Only recently introduced to this drink by a neighborhood bartender, I am a huge fan. Just looking for any posts about it, this was top of the list even though nearly 5 years old.

I do recommend trying the olive garnish - according to him it must be a Castelvetrano and I can't disagree. The meatiness works and it's not distractingly pickled tasting

Alex said...

Just made this with Plymouth and while I love the combo of Bonal and Benedictine, I felt the gin was a bit hot with too strong of a raw alcohol note coming through. Maybe stirring longer with cracked ice instead of cubes could have solved that through dilution, but I think using Aviation (with it's more floral notes) would make a noticeable, positive, difference.

frederic said...

Perhaps use a sweeter quinquina? Or add a dash of simple? Bonal isn't the sweetest quinquina out there. All recipes can be adjusted to your own (or the drinker's palate).