Monday, October 24, 2011

2 cups of blood

3/4 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
3/4 oz Suze Liqueur
3/4 oz Punt e Mes
3/4 oz Bittermens Mole Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe. Twist a grapefruit peel over the top and discard.

When discussing another cocktail with bartender Misty Kalkofen at Drink, she mentioned that they had Suze liqueur. While I do not usually request bartenders to make me specific off-menu recipes, I knew that they had all the ingredients for the 2 Cups of Blood in Beta Cocktails. Suze Liqueur is an aperitif liqueur made from wild harvested gentian root that rarely finds its way over to these shores. Pernod Ricard who produces Suze has claimed a few times (or leaked said information) over the last year or so that it will start being imported into this country, but alas, these declarations have been fruitless. The most recent one I read was from Robert Simonson who last month stated that bottles will appear on our shelves starting in January 2012. This comes 6 month after Audrey Saunders tweeted that the liqueur was on its way, and I forgot who mentioned it months before her. Only time will tell.
Since Drink was in possession of a bottle, it was time to try this recipe created by Tonia Guffey of New York City's DRAM, Flatiron Lounge, and Lani Kai. I have previously written about Tonia when I made her Teenage Riot and mentioned her and California Gold's No Boys Allowed event. Once Misty made up the 2 Cups of Blood, I was rather intrigued at how murky the drink looked from the chocolate bitters and how it picked up a blood-like hue from the Punt e Mes' grape. The grapefruit twist paid dividends on the aroma, and it was joined by a darker note from either the Suze or mole bitters. The sip that was filled with agave and grape notes came across as citrussy; at first I figured it was the grapefruit twist's oils affecting the drink, but as the drink wore on, I realized it had to be from the ingredients. Indeed, some descriptions of Suze include that it has a citrus component to it. The swallow began with the Suze's gentian, the Punt e Mes' bitter notes, and the bitters' chocolate notes and ended with the mezcal's smoke. With all of the bitter botanical elements in the drink, the 2 Cups of Blood finished rather dryly.

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