Tuesday, September 18, 2018

the hard sell

3/4 oz Beefeater Gin
3/4 oz Jeppson's Malort
3/4 oz St. Germain (St. Elder)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Two Tuesdays ago, my web searching brought up a 2009 Chicago Reader article that challenged bartenders across that city to come up with delicious cocktails crafted with Malört as one of the ingredients. The first one that I selected was the Hard Sell by Brad Bolt of Bar Deville for it reminded me of Sam Ross' Sunflower except more bitter instead of citrussy. After I posted my drink on Instagram, Brad replied, "I modified the recipe to 1 oz Beefeater and 1 oz St. Germain after the article came out. Newer batches of Malört have had a more bitter wormwood punch. Hope you enjoyed it!" I am not sure whether I have an older batch of Jeppson's (it was a gift by Eric a/k/a Aphonik) or if I just enjoy bitter cocktails, but I was quite pleased by the balance.
The Hard Sell greeted the senses with a grapefruit and floral bouquet. Next, lemon and peach notes on the sip gave way to gin, bitter wormwood, and fruity-floral elderflower flavors with a grapefruit finish. Indeed, the lemon, Malört, and elderflower liqueur combined to make a grapefruit-peach flavor akin to the Pegu Club's combination generating a grapefruit one.

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