Thursday, October 20, 2011

maximilian affair

1 oz Mezcal (Del Maguey Mezcal Vida)
1 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

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

Last Thursday, I decided to make a Boston neo-classic that Andrea had tried but somehow I had missed, namely Misty Kalkofen's Maximilian Affair. While I used the recipe in Food & Wine: Cocktails 2009, I knew that there were other variations. A few days later, I had the chance to sit in Misty's bar section at Drink and asked her what the real proportions were. Misty explained how she created the drink originally at Green Street for Ron Cooper of Del Maguey after he pulled a bottle of mezcal out for her to try. The Del Maguey products were not available here at that time, so luckily she still had enough of a sample to use it in a St. Germain recipe competition. Otherwise, to showcase the drink to others, she opted for a blanco tequila which really let the St. Germain shine. One variation that popped up was Eric Felton's adaptation that he wrote about in the Wall Street Journal. Eric's altering the recipe to his tastes has skewed other's appreciation of Misty's original balance, and the recipe in Imbibe Magazine is somewhere between the two. Often the recipe is attributed to the Drink bar, but its genesis pre-dates its opening a little over 3 years ago.
The Maximilian Affair historically was a French intervention in Mexico during the mid-19th century. Similarly in the drink, a French liqueur intervenes with the heat and smoke of the Mexican spirit. In the aroma, the mezcal notes were brightened by the twist's lemon oil. Next, the fruity and floral sip presented the lemon juice, St. Germain, and Punt e Mes' grape flavors. The Punt e Mes continued on in the swallow with its bitter notes that paired with the mezcal's smoke to dry out the drink at the end.

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