Saturday, December 18, 2010

esprit d'escalier

3/4 oz Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon
3/4 oz Aperol
3/4 oz Pink Grapefruit Juice
3/4 oz Amaro Nonino

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

For my second cocktail at Eastern Standard on Monday, I asked bartender Kevin Martin for something with whiskey. The drink he suggested with Bourbon, Aperol, Amaro Nonino, and citrus sounded good so I gave him the nod of approval. The first iteration that he made me used lemon which made for a rather tart swallow. When Kevin asked my opinion, I suggested that grapefruit might make for an easier to drink cocktail. He agreed and commented that grapefruit and Bourbon go quite well together; this is something that I have experienced before in drinks like the Cravan Cocktail but had never heard vocalized.
With pink grapefruit juice, the drink was fuller flavored and not tart at all. The grapefruit complemented the Aperol, and when it appeared at the end of the swallow, it paired up nicely with the Amaro Nonino. The drink lacked a name and Kevin sought suggestions. Since it was a Last Word variation, I recommended Esprit d'Escalier which translates to "staircase wit" or that crafty response that you think of too late. Interesting is that the original lemon version was very similar to a recipe I spotted today -- Sam Ross' Paper Airplane which calls for equal parts of Bourbon, lemon, Aperol, and Amaro Nonino.

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