Friday, March 25, 2011

emily shaw's special

1/2 Brandy (1 1/2 oz Martel VS Cognac)
1/4 Lemon Juice (3/4 oz)
1/8 Cointreau (3/8 oz)
1/8 Sweet Vermouth (3/8 oz Vya)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a lemon twist.
For my second drink on Monday night, I opened up Ted Saucier's Bottoms Up and was lured in by the Emily Shaw's Special. The drink was credited to Emily Shaw's Inn in Pound Ridge, New York; though the recipe was published in 1951, the Westchester establishment was still open up until last year. What drew me to the Emily Shaw's Special was how it was a variation of a Sidecar with some of the sweetness coming from Italian vermouth instead of solely from orange liqueur. While the Vya sweet vermouth donated additional flavors and aromas, what was most intriguing was how reducing the orange to lemon quotient affected the flavor balance. While the classic Sidecar recipe is an equal part orange liqueur to lemon juice ratio, many recent recipes have a sweeter 2:1 ratio that stresses the orange flavors more than the lemon. Here, the orange to lemon ratio was skewed in the other direction and it really changed the perception of this drink; it made me notice how the Sidecar is more of an orange-driven drink than I first appreciated and how pushing the lemon notes forward altered the drink greatly. Indeed, I found the experience worthwhile especially as an extension of thinking about the history of the Sidecar including the Crusta as its precursor.

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