Friday, April 6, 2012

everybody is a nun

3/4 oz Willet Rye
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Lavender-Lemon Cordial (*)
2 dash Bittermens Boston Bittahs

Shake with ice and double strain into a Highball glass filled with ice. Add 2 oz sparkling wine, stir, and add a straw. Garnish with a lemon wheel rolled in dry lavender flowers.
(*) Substitute 1/2 tsp dried lavender. There might have also been a 1/4 oz of lemon juice added as well.

When you are offered a cocktail called "Everybody is a Nun," you should definitely consider it. And when the bartender informs you that there are two Chartreuses and an overproof rye in the mix, that consideration should just turn to a thumbs up and a nod. Wednesday last week, Andrea and I stopped into Craigie on Main where bartenders Ted Gallagher and Jared Sadoian were manning the helm. The drink that Ted proposed to me was one he was developing for an upcoming event (he was not specific but later my suspicions were confirmed that it was this one). The inspiration for the drink was from a short story in J.D. Salinger's Nine Stories entitled "De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period." The story involves a young man who took a position as an instructor at a by-mail correspondence art school. While most of his pupils were rather talentless, he became rather smitten by a religious painting he was sent of a nun. For the base spirit and drink style, Ted honed in on the line, "I drew suntanned young giants in white dinner jackets, at white tables alongside turquoise swimming pools, toasting each other with highballs made from a cheap but ostensibly ultra fashionable brand of rye whiskey." For the liqueur and floral ingredients, Ted was taken by the description of "a hefty girl of about thirty, in a green, yellow and lavender chiffon dress." That girl spurred the protagonist to write in his journal, "I am giving Sister Irma her freedom to follow her own destiny. Everybody is a nun."
Ted had not crafted his lavender-lemon cordial yet, so he substituted a half teaspoon of dried lavender flowers that he incorporated during the mixing process. The other lavender flowers were on the lemon wheel garnish, and the garnish's floral and citrus aromas contributed greatly to the Everybody is a Nun's nose. The citrus and sparkling wine flavors filled the sip, and the swallow showcased the Green Chartreuse. After a few swallows, the rye whiskey became noticeable at the beginning of the swallow and a lingering lavender note joined in at the end. Of all the flavor combinations, I was most impressed at how the lavender notes flowed into and complemented the Green Chartreuse.


Anonymous said...

Great post. The story is a good one. The drink sounds to me like it would taste a bit soapy w/ the lavender- but lavender / lemon can be good if you are light with the lavender.

Either way, I enjoy the literary construct of the drink...

frederic said...

Not soapy in the quick infusion. I wonder if that comes with oxidation or longer infusions.

Tomorrow, this drink will be served with 8 other literary drinks based off of J.D. Salinger's other stories from that book. Hopefully, I'll get some good recipes to report back with.

Sahil said...

We use a lavender-lime cordial for one of the cocktails on the menu. I'm going to try using it to make a modified Silent Order. Will let you know how it works.