Friday, December 28, 2012

:: let's bring back - the cocktail edition :: & the veritas cocktail

lesley blume let's bring back cocktail edition3/4 oz Gin (Martin Miller Westbourne)
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a small cocktail glass, and float 1/4 oz crème de cassis (it will probably sink on you though; I later stirred it in).

Following the After Dark two Fridays ago, I began to peruse my new copy of Lesley Blume's Let's Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition. A Compendium of Impish, Romantic, Amusing, and Occasionally Appalling Potations from Bygone Eras. The book is a recently published collection of classic recipes, many of which have been forgotten over time and are rarely called upon despite appearing in more common books like Duffy and Trader Vic's. Blume explains, "Plenty of splendid cocktails have been rudely shunted aside after falling out of vogue -- and their successors often do not hold a candle to the drinks they replace." Sourcing recipes from the late 19th century up until the 1960s, the collection takes a humorous look at a literal gross of these drinks with special attention given to potations with noteworthy names. Each recipe is accompanied by a short history including entertaining facts or quotes about people involved, and the page is decorated rather elegantly in period fashion. For critique, if you have a decent collection, you will probably have most of these drinks; however, having them displayed in a new and favorable light will probably make you more willing to try them. In addition, some of the recipes are not my preferred ones such as the Fluffy Ruffles not including a piece of lime peel in the shake to make it more than just a Rum Manhattan (something that I discussed with BoulderLibation who repeated the drink with the peel after I urged him to try). Also, the Symphony of Moist Joy has a newer recipe that avoids the expensive and difficult to source crème de rose and sadly replaces it with grenadine of all things (but at least you can make it). Regardless, this book is stylish and there is much value in the text and illustrations that puts a positive perspective on these semi-neglected gems.
lesley blume let's bring back cocktail veritas
While I was tempted to do the Symphony of Moist Joy since it has one of the best cocktail names ever, I am still holding out for now until Crispin's Crème de Rose made at the Germain-Robin distillery in California makes its way out to Massachusetts. Instead, I opted for the Veritas Cocktail which seemed like a Pegu Club of sorts that swapped the Angostura Bitters for crème de cassis. The cassis was added as a float, but knowing that cassis is one of the most densely sugared liqueurs out there, it as expected still sunk no matter how carefully I layered it. While it is pictured above with a cassis layer on the bottom, I ended up stirring it in. The liqueur's currant joined the Cointreau's orange on the nose. An orange and lime sip contained berry flavors, and the swallow showcased the gin along with more cassis and the lime's tartness. Overall, the crème de cassis added a lot of complexity here without dominating the drink like cassis can often do.