Saturday, October 16, 2010


1 1/2 oz Rosemary-infused Tequila
1 oz Pineau des Charentes
1/2 oz Averna
2 dash Housemade Pear Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass pre-rinsed with Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy (* see text for other options). Garnish with a piece of dried pear skewered on a cocktail pick.

After the Bénédictine event at the Franklin on Sunday night, Andrea and I traveled up the Red Line and stopped into Craigie on Main for a nightcap. When I asked bartender Ted Gallagher if there was anything that he had been working on, he started to describe this drink and said that he was still trying to figure out the final touches. Originally he was working on a whiskey drink for the new menu; however, Carrie came up with a rye drink first, so he switched spirits for diversity's sake. Ted commented that he thought the drink still possessed some whiskey-like notes since the barrel-aged apple brandy donated a similar set of wood notes.

Ted was still playing around with the garnish (including flambéing the dried pear in overproof spirit), the rinse, and the name. Midway through my drinking it, Ted asked if I had ever heard of a drink named the Marksman; when I replied that I had not, he dubbed it such. One of the intriguing ingredients in the Marksman was the Pineau des Charentes, a French fortified wine often flavored with pine as well as fruits such as pear. To complement the pine, Ted infused the tequila with sprigs of rosemary, and to supplement the pear, he added housemade pear bitters, a dessicated pear garnish, and an apple brandy rinse. The final ingredient, the bitter liqueur Averna, helped to round out the flavor of the Marksman.
The Marksman started with a tequila nose. Overall, the drink was dark and complex with rosemary notes on the swallow. Upon the second swallow, the tequila began to appear and paired well with the bitter and herbal flavors. The Marksman was full of intrigue but was not overly challenging to drink. When Ted gave Craigie's owner Tony Maws a taste, Tony wanted to see more pine notes and suggested that the glass be rinsed with Clear Creek's Eau De Vie Douglas Fir instead. I replied that the rosemary did a good job of bolstering that flavor in the Pineau des Charentes, and that the pear flavors needed assistance. When I mentioned a pear liqueur such as Rothman & Winters, Ted let me smell the Clear Creek pear eau de vie which still retains a lot of pear aroma. Therefore, I also suggested that a rinse of both eau de vies might solve the problem. I have no clue what Ted finally decided on for his rinse. From a twitter I read a few days ago, he has been making more Marksmen this past week, so please go in and try one and report back on what the rinse winner was.

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