Sunday, May 19, 2019

8th arrondissement

1 1/2 oz Cognac (Camus VS)
1/2 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Amer Picon (Torani Amer)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.

Two Sundays ago, I was thinking about the Ward 8 for it came up a few times during Thirst Boston the weekend before. One of my major problems with the earliest recipe of the 1898 drink appearing in Robert Vermeier's 1922 Cocktails: How to Mix Them is that the orange juice clashed with the oaky American whiskey. Yvonne's which resides in the old Locke-Ober space where the classic was created got around that point by utilizing Palo Cortado sherry as a flavor bridge in their version. I pondered what other spirits might work well here, and my eyes drifted over to the Cognac section of my home bar. With a French theme, perhaps substituting Amer Picon for the orange juice might work especially given how well grenadine and Amer Picon pair in some of Trader Vic's recipes like the Jayco and Philippine Punch as well as older recipes like the Swanee Shore and Bronco. Moreover, the swap reminded me of Paul McGee's recipes at Lost Lake, such as their Fog Cutter, that sub dry curaçao for orange juice (Paul's avoidance of orange juice is different than mine and explained in the link). For a name, I dubbed this one the 8th Arrondissement which is the part of Paris that contains the Champs-Élysées.
The 8th Arrondissement greeted the senses with an orange, berry, and Cognac bouquet. Next, lemon and berry swirled on the sip, and the swallow conjured up Cognac, bitter orange, and pomegranate flavors with a tart lemon finish. Overall, the end result was very different than the Ward 8, but the French ingredients certainly worked well together.

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