Tuesday, December 4, 2012

scarlet letter

1 1/2 oz Bacardi 8 Year Rum
3/4 oz Drambuie
1/2 oz Pimm's No. 1
1/4 oz Balsamic Vinegar
1 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

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

For a second drink at Scholars, I narrowed it down to two drinks I was curious about, and bartender John Henderson recommended the Scarlet Letter for it was the more dynamic of the duo and changed over successive sips. The drink may have been a Nathaniel Hawthorne reference especially given the subtitle, "deep red, the addition of balsamic could be considered taboo." While I have had vinegar-based shrubs as cocktail ingredients, I have only been served one other drink, the Averna Pineapple Shrub, that used vinegar as a mixing ingredient. And I did tinker with it in the Casper Sour. With the honey liqueur being the main sugar source in the Scarlet Letter, perhaps this was an instant Drambuie shrub.
scholars boston bistro 25 school street drambuie cocktail bartender john henderson
The Scarlet Letter's twist's lemon oil covered over much of the balsamic vinegar's aroma. A rich, sweet sip showcased the Pimm's berry fruit flavor. The swallow began with the rum and Drambuie's Scotch followed by the vinegar's zip and the mole bitters' chocolate. Indeed, the balsamic vinegar dried out the swallow and donated an almost citrussy tang to the finish whereas citrus acids generally appear more on the sip. Moreover, grape notes in the balsamic worked rather well with the aged rum and Drambuie here.

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