Wednesday, March 7, 2012

love makes you feel 10 feet tall

1 oz Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Pisco (Macchu Pisco)
3/4 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
2-3 drop Salt Water (*)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
(*) Saturate Kosher salt in water (add enough so further stirring or shaking will not allow more salt to come into solution). Use the water over the remaining salt grains once they have settled.

On Tuesday last week, we decided to make one of the salt-containing drinks in the "Salty Reception" article in the most recent issue of Imbibe Magazine. The Love Makes You Feel 10 Feet Tall was credited to Jay Zimmerman of Bāśik in Brooklyn; later, when I sat at Evan Zimmerman's bar at Woodsman Tavern during Portland Cocktail Week, I told him that I had made his brother's drink. Evan mentioned that he had created this one and donated it to his brother's menu at Bāśik. The dual spirit of gin and pisco reminded me of the Rosy John from Charles Baker's South American Gentleman's Companion. The article claimed that the salt helped to amplify the flavors in the drink; however, it can also reduce others -- an effect well described in an article in Beta Cocktails.
The drink presented an orange oil and Aperol aroma that was mirrored in the sip containing Aperol's orange-rhubarb flavor. The swallow then showcased the pisco's funky grape paired with the Punt e Mes' bitter notes. While I expected the salt to have more of an effect on the Punt e Mes for it can minimize bitter flavors, I was quite surprised at how subdued the gin botanicals were. This was especially odd since Beefeater is not a subtle gin and it made up a third of the pre-melt volume. What the salt did seem to emphasize were the unique flavor elements in the pisco brandy that are often lost in cocktails.

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