Monday, August 29, 2011

[aurora's bed]

2 oz Plymouth Gin
1 oz Saffron Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice (*)
1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with an orange twist.
(*) I recommend upping the lemon juice to 3/4 oz to cut back on the sweetness and make the recipe a 4 oz volume.

On Saturday, I decided to visit Stoddard's Fine Food & Ale where Tony Iamunno was tending bar. For my first drink, Tony asked if he could make me something he came up with the day before; the only hint he gave me was asking if I liked saffron. He later explained that the chef had extra saffron simple syrup and he donated it for the bar staff to play with.
The drink had a gorgeous hue to it from the saffron syrup. On a first taste, I guessed gin, orange juice, and Lillet, and only one out of three of those ingredients was correct. The syrup combining with the lemon probably produced the orange juice-Lillet notes that I was noting. The drink's aroma was orange oil from the twist and an herbal, almost polleny scent from the saffron. The Lillet-like notes I had just mentioned appeared on the sip, and the swallow was a gin, citrus, and herbal flavor. Though the drink was a bit on the sweet side, it was definitely drier on the swallow from the saffron and gin's bitterness; perhaps the sip could have been dried out even further with an additional portion of lemon juice.

Tony asked for name suggestions, and the best I could do was Aurora's Bed from Virgil's Aeneid:
Aurora now had left her saffron bed,
And beams of early light the heav'ns o'erspread,
When, from a tow'r, the queen, with wakeful eyes,
Saw day point upward from the rosy skies.

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