Thursday, May 8, 2014

ligurian sea

1 oz Gin (Martin Miller Westbourne)
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Dolin)
1 oz Cynar

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Separately, mix 3/4 oz ice cold water to 1/4 oz pastis or absinthe (Butterfly Absinthe); layer the louched pastis or absinthe on top of the drink.

Two Saturdays ago, I decided to make a recipe that I spotted in the May/June 2014 issue of Imbibe Magazine called the Ligurian Sea. The drink was created by Ryan Casey of McCrady's in Charleston, South Carolina, and he named it after the eastern part of the Mediterranean between the Italian Riviera and the island of Corsica. Likewise, one of the star players in this cocktail is the Italian bitter liqueur Cynar in a "cloud-capped Negroni" variation. The sea also borders on France, and Ryan utilizes French ingredients; there, he probably opts for French pastis, but here I opted for French sweet vermouth.
The absinthe float's anise and herbal notes filled the nose. At first, the flavors were driven primarily by the absinthe since there was no straw to get below the top louche layer. Once past that stage, the sip became caramel and grape from the Cynar and vermouth, respectively, and the swallow contained a wealth of juniper, bitter, and herbal complexity.

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