Tuesday, October 25, 2011

black feather

2 oz Brandy (Pedro Domecq Fundador Solera Reserva)
1 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 oz Cointreau
1 dash Aromatic Bitters (Angostura)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

One of the drinks that I spotted in Robert Hess' Essential Bartender's Guide when I re-found the Hoskins was his Black Feather. Hess created this drink in 2000 as his house cocktail for his home bar. We enjoyed this drink so much when we first made it that we put it on our International Migratory Bird Day cocktail party's menu in 2008. Despite there being 20 drinks at that event, the Black Feather was the clear winner of the night, and I believe that one out of every six boozy drinks requested was this one.
The Black Feather began with a citrussy aroma of the twist's lemon oil and the Cointreau's orange that was joined by some rich notes from the Spanish brandy. The sip contained the fruity elements of the liqueur's orange and the brandy's grape. Next, the swallow presented the brandy as well as spice and herbal notes from the bitters and dry vermouth, and it ended with a lingering orange flavor. While the Black Feather is not the most complex drink out there, it has a rather pleasing classic feel to it and has proven to be a rather solid and accessible potation.

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