Tuesday, April 19, 2011

far east suite

1 1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Royal Combier Orange Liqueur
1 barspoon Batavia Arrack
1 dash Fee's Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters
2 Cloves

Muddle cloves in bitters. Add rest of ingredients and ice, shake, and double strain into a cocktail glass. Grate nutmeg over the top as a garnish.

Two Mondays ago, Andrea and I stopped by Bergamot for a late night dinner. For a drink, I asked bartender Paul Manzelli about the Far East Suite on the menu. He explained that someone requested a French Martini a few nights before, and he therefore opened up a container of pineapple juice to make the drink. To use up the leftover juice, he crafted a variation of the classic East India Cocktail. I was familiar with the original for it was part of the Anvil's 100 Drink List that I completed as part of my 2009 New Year's resolution (well, I took the challenge up in June or July, so perhaps it was a Mid Year's resolution instead).
The freshly grated nutmeg contributed greatly to the drink's aroma and was joined over time by clove notes. Flavorwise, the sip contained the pineapple and orange notes, and the pineapple continued on in the swallow along with Cognac. Moreover, on successive swallows, the clove notes increased and paired elegantly with the pineapple. Overall, the drink was much more fruit driven than the original which had a much more booze-forward feel akin to the Japanese.

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