Sunday, August 29, 2010

fioupe cocktail

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo L) was picked by LushLife Productions' Lindsey Johnson who runs the Brown, Bitter and Stirred blog. Lindsey chose the eponymous theme of "Brown, Bitter and Stirred" and decided not to elaborate on the theme much more than by saying it is the first four words out of her mouth when she requests a cocktail at a bar. And now, she is requesting people across the blogosphere to craft a drink to her modus operandi.

I was not specifically searching for a drink to satisfy this Mixology Monday when I spotted one that would work. While looking through the 1940 The How and When for something to drink that night, I spotted the Fioupe Cocktail and made a note to revisit it later in the week for this event. For several days the note sat there until I was in the mood for something more brown, bitter, and stirred than I have been with my drink choices as of late. As I began to hunt out an older source if not the original source of the recipe, I ended up finding one in Robert Vermeire's Cocktails and How to Mix Them from 1922 and decided to stop my searching and to make the damn cocktail already. Vermeire proffered a line of history that read, "Monsieur Fioupe is a familiar figure known all along the Riviera by everybody from prince to cabman." His recipe was as follows:
Fioupe Cocktail
• 1/4 gill Cinzano Sweet Vermouth (1 oz Bonal)
• 1/4 gill Cognac Brandy (1 oz Martell VS)
• 1 tsp Benedictine
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Add a cherry (Luxardo) and twist a lemon peel over the top.
The only difference between this recipe and the one in The How and When is that the former specified Cognac and the latter was a vague brandy. I was originally going to choose a more brown and flavorful Spanish brandy, but once finding the older recipe, I went with the Cognac. In addition, instead of sweet vermouth proper, I went with Bonal which is a sweet vermouth-like aperitif wine embittered with a healthy dose of gentian and quinine.
The Fioupe Cocktail started with an aroma that was a mix of lemon oil and Benedictine. The Cognac notes were the first to hit the palate followed by the Bonal and Benedictine's bitter notes on the swallow. Moreover, the Bonal also contributed a pleasing grape aftertaste. Overall, the Fioupe Cocktail was a stripped down Vieux Carré for it lacked the rye, Peychaud's, and Angostura Bitters. Thus, it was a bit smoother as it lacked the bite from the rye whiskey and some of the herbal complexity of the nonpotable bitters. Still the Fioupe Cocktail was plenty bitter enough not to mention brown and stirred.

Cheers to Lyndsey for hosting and picking this month's theme and to Paul Clarke for being the puppeteer behind the MxMo show!

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