Friday, May 27, 2011

theresa no. 4

1 1/2 oz Cassis de Bordeaux (G.E. Massenez)
3/4 oz London Dry Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Campari

Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice. Top with soda water (2-3 oz) and garnish with a mint sprig.

A few months ago, I made the quirky Teresa from Gary Regan's The Joy of Mixology. The drink was created by Spanish cocktail enthusiast Rafael Ballesteros and expertly balanced the bitterness of Campari, the sweetness of crème de cassis, and the tartness of lime juice. Nicole, one of our friends and readers of the blog, commented that the Teresa was too Campari heavy for her and she would have liked to see half of the Campari replaced with gin. I replied that Eastern Standard's bar manager, Jackson Cannon, must have had the same opinion for he made a series of variations. While I was able to see #2 and #3 in the Craigie on Main cocktail rolodex, the Theresa #4 (unsure why the spelling changed) seemed most appealing and appears in the LUPEC Boston's Little Black Book of Cocktails. I held off on making this recipe as it calls for a mint sprig garnish and our mint, until recently, was in the off season. Alas, our mint is back so it was time for the Theresa #4.
I am glad that I waited until mint was available for it contributed greatly to the drink's aroma. The Theresa #4's sip contained the lime and the swallow possessed the Campari and gin herbal notes. Instead of having a strong Campari aftertaste like the original, this variation had a strong crème de cassis taste, well... everywhere; the cassis appeared on the sip to balance the citrus and a little more distinctively on the swallow to mellow the botanical notes. Moreover, the cassis liqueur made the drink a bit more syrupy or desserty than the original. The Campari, lime juice, gin, and soda water did help to dry out the sugar quotient, although I could not help but think that the balance would be better as a 4 equal parts recipe of cassis, gin, Campari, and lime.

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