Monday, March 18, 2013

royal flush

2 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
3/4 oz Crème de Cacao
3/4 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz St. George's Absinthe

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Two Wednesdays ago, we made a pilgrimage up to Woburn to visit Ran Duan at Sichuan Garden II. One of the drinks on the menu that Ran posted online had caught my attention, and I asked him for the Royal Flush as my first libation. The ingredient list reminded me of an Appetizer l'Italienne with added cacao notes. Ran described how he was working with the vermouth, Fernet Branca, and absinthe combination, and he felt that it needed to be softened; the cacao worked perfectly to achieve that goal. Indeed, crème de cacao works amazingly well in the Fernet Alexander I crafted; the pairing was one that I learned from an old boss and I dubbed that 4 parts cacao to 1 part Fernet Branca ratio the Hansen Special after him.
sichuan garden 2 ran duan cocktail
The absinthe's anise and other herbal elements contributed greatly to the Royal Flush's bouquet. A rich grape sip led into chocolate tempering the Fernet Branca on the swallow and an absinthe finish.

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