Wednesday, February 9, 2011

pansy blossom

3 dash Gum Syrup (omitted)
1/2 oz Kümmel (Helbing)
1/2 oz Absinthe (Kübler)
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Vya)
1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)
1 Egg White

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I garnished with 3 drops of Angostura Bitters on the egg white froth.

Last Friday night, I was flipping through The Flowing Bowl and a strange egg white drink, the Pansy Blossom, caught my eye. I had not spotted this drink in any books I have read; however, there is a more modern recipe in CocktailDB of the same name that contains pastis (or anisette), grenadine, and Angostura Bitters, but there is only one ingredient in common with the above 1892 recipe. While the CocktailDB drink would at least have the coloration of a pansy, it surely lacks the intrigue to draw me to try it. Indeed, it was the strangeness of two potent herbal spirits being mitigated by the other ingredients that sparked my curiosity. Since three of the ingredients contained sugar, I decided that drink would probably be sweet enough and omitted the gum syrup from the recipe.
The Pansy Blossom started with a fennel aroma from the absinthe. Flavorwise, the sip was a sweet grape coupled with Maraschino's nuttiness. Meanwhile, the egg white and sweetness did a good job of mellowing out the absinthe's herbal intensity and kümmel's caraway notes on the swallow. Overall, the drink offered up a nice degree of complexity and was not as bizarre as I first expected it to be. With the egg white, it was a softer version of Beta Cocktails' Spice Trade with Maraschino notes instead of Curaçao.

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