Sunday, October 13, 2013

lindsey's whimsy

1 oz Oloroso Sherry (Lustau Dry)
1 oz Dry Vermouth (Dolin)
1/2 oz Amaro Montenegro
1/2 oz Benedictine
3 dash Allspice Dram (1/4 oz St. Elizabeth)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

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

Two Thursdays ago, I began to flip through my new purchase of The Art of the Shim: Low-Alcohol Cocktails to Keep You Level. The book was written by Dinah Sanders, a long time writer for the blog and an old school participant in Mixology Monday (she hosted a great 19th century-themed one back in 2008). The idea for the book was to split the difference between boozy libations and alcohol-free ones like the ones found in Natalie Bovis' Pregatinis in order to provide recipes that allow for more socialization balanced with more control of one's senses. The book in defense of the style has a variety of good quotes from famous bartenders including Pouring Ribbons' Joaquín Simó who said, "There's a lot that goes into having a good night out and being grown up about it." And Neyah White's comment, "The more that a drink is seen as a culinary experience, the less it needs to be an exercise in self-medication to be recognized as good." Overall, the book contains a good techniques section and 53 recipes that span from classics to modern drinks. Sherry, vermouth, aromatized wine, beer, sparkling wine, and liqueurs take center stage here with a good number of the drinks containing a half ounce or less of standard base spirits for backbone.
The drink I made that night was Lindsey's Whimsy created by Lindsey Baird at San Francisco's Comstock Saloon. With the dry vermouth and Benedictine, it reminded me a bit of the Chrysanthemum Cocktail, and the addition of sherry and Amaro Montenegro did not hurt either. Once mixed, it offered a lemon oil aroma over a nutty grape and sweet herbal nose. A grape-driven sip gave way to a nutty swallow with a chocolate and spice swallow.

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