Sunday, October 19, 2014

double daisy

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo XC) was picked by Joel of the SouthernAsh blog. The theme he chose was "Perfect Symmetry," and he elaborated on the theme with his description of, "A 'perfect' drink splits the liquor or liqueur evenly between two related ingredients. The most common 'perfect' drink is a Perfect Manhattan where the vermouth is split between sweet and dry to create an altogether different experience. A perfect Old Fashioned splits the bourbon and rye are both used to create a singularly distinct experience. When done well, splitting the liquor lets each of the unique flavors and components of the shine through. Because they share a background, they don't war with each other but instead you get both the mellow sweetness of the bourbon with the spicy backbone of the rye in that Old Fashioned... Why make a choice when you can have it all?!"

For an idea, I started thinking about the classics. I did consider doing one of my favorite Sazerac variations, the split Cognac-rye one that celebrates both pre- and post-Phylloxera times with the body of the brandy balancing the spice of the whiskey; however, I was not sure if that covered enough new ground to warrant a post. Similarly, I considered riffing on Remember the Maine to divide the cough syrup-like Cherry Heering with Maraschino; with absinthe in the mix, it would become "improved" in addition to "perfect." Instead, I thought about the Sidecar and considered doing a post on Audrey Saunders' Tantris Sidecar that I made in 2007 before writing for the blog. When I reacquainted myself with the recipe, I realized that it was not a "perfect" split of the ingredients, but unequal modifications and expansions on flavor. Could I make a Sidecar "perfect"? As my mind turned over possibilities that included splitting the orange liqueur between Cointreau and Amer Picon, what I honed in on is the similarities between a Sidecar and a Margarita. Both have spirits, orange liqueur, citrus, and some sort of crystalline rim on the glass. What if I were to meld the two drinks into one?
Since the orange liqueur was the same in both cases, I decided to keep it as the only unsplit aspect. For the changes, I opted for equal parts brandy and tequila for spirits and for equal parts lemon and lime to match, respectively. Although the classic recipes for both drinks lack sugar or salt rim garnishes, I decided to include them since that is often what people expect when they order the drinks at a bar. Should I make a salty-sweet mixed rim? No, I instead listened to the wise words of Don Lee at my BarSmarts Advanced practical. One of my three drinks that afternoon was the Sidecar, and I fully sugared the rim as per the BarSmarts' recipe. Don's list of what I did wrong during the practical was not what I did wrong in terms of BarSmarts, but what I could improve on in terms of being a better bartender. In this case, he suggested partially sugaring the rim to give imbibers a choice. Therefore, I decided to have three sections of rim here: sugar, salt, and no garnish.
Double Daisy
• 3/4 oz Brandy (Foret)
• 3/4 oz Tequila (Espolon Blanco)
• 3/4 oz Triple Sec (Cointreau)
• 3/8 oz Lemon Juice
• 3/8 oz Lime Juice
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass partially sugar rimmed, partially salt rimmed, and partially unrimmed.
Since both of these drinks are classic Daisies, I went with the term Double Daisy which made me think about flowers in our garden that have double the number of petals or those few that were Siamese in nature. Once mixed, the Double Daisy offered a tequila aroma. When sampled from the unrimmed portion, the sip was citrussy with the lime being the strongest; next, the swallow had a mix of brandy and tequila notes with an orange finish. On trying the libation with the sugared rim, the lemon and brandy flavors were more pronounced. Lastly, drinking from the salted region diminished the lime's bitter notes such that it came across more lemon-like; in addition, the mineral aspect accented the tequila in the Daisy. So instead of giving drinkers a simple binary option of how to enjoy the drink like Don Lee recommended, the trinary option gave a much broader and complex way to bring out different aspects and balances out of the drink.

So thank you to Joel for picking the theme and running this month's show, and thanks to the rest of the Mixology Monday participants for keeping the shakers shaking and the spirit of the event alive!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The rim is an awesome idea!