Monday, January 10, 2011

snap point

1 1/2 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin
1 1/2 oz Bonal
1 barspoon Yellow Chartreuse
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Two Sundays ago, Andrea and I popped into the Island Creek Oyster Bar for a cocktail. The Snap Point caught my eye on the menu for it paired up the new Ransom Old Tom Gin with Bonal quinquina and Yellow Chartreuse, and I asked bartender Ginny Edwards to make one. Midway through my drink, head bartender Bobby McCoy stopped by and told me about the Snap Point. His concept was a winter aperitif loaded with Alpine spice that would not ruin the palate. Given the equal parts gin and aromatized wine capped off with a barspoon of yellow Chartreuse, I asked Bobby if the San Martin was his starting point. While he was familiar with the drink, his inspiration was the Bonal and Chartreuse; since these two ingredients are made in the same region in France, the pairing seemed a natural one to him.
The Snap Point began with a citrus aroma of lemon oil from the twist and orange from the bitters. Next, the sip was slightly sweet with grape notes, and the swallow contained a wealth of botanical complexity along with the orange from the bitters. While the Chartreuse and Bonal both played a role in the swallow, the Ransom Old Tom donated some intriguing juniper, clove, peppercorn, and pinelike notes to the mix. Indeed, the gentle sip was chased by a spicy swallow; however, as the drink warmed up, the gentle sip aspect dissipated a bit. In the end, the drink reminded me less of a San Martin and more like a bitter Martinez Cocktail.

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