Tuesday, June 28, 2011


3/4 oz Cognac (Martel VS)
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Dubonnet Rouge
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a lemon twist to the recipe.

After the Thick as Thieves, I had some lemon juice left over so I opened up Jeff Masson and Greg Boehm's Big Bartender's Book in search of a good use. The recipe I spotted, the Crux, called for the bottle of Dubonnet we had just bought and was a great excuse to crack it open. Since the recipe also resides on CocktailDB, I was able to track it back to Jones Complete Bar Guide but was not able to find it elsewhere in the books that I checked. The Dubonnet website has the Crux as one of the 17 good uses for their product, but it provides no other history other than that Death & Co. enjoyed the recipe enough to submit it to their site.
The Crux began with a lemon oil, orange, and grape aroma. While the sip was a sweet citrus flavor, the swallow was a drier grape note with orange, herbal, and tannin elements at the end. Overall, it was sweeter, less strong, but more complex than the classic Sidecar. Indeed, the Dubonnet bolstered the Sidecar base with its grape notes complementing the Cognac, its orange peel notes adding to the Cointreau, and its sweetness helping to counter the tart lemon. With the grape notes, the Crux reminded me of the Emily Shaw Special which includes sweet vermouth in the mix instead of Dubonnet.

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