French Elisir

22 Jul

July has been a pretty busy month so far, and although I didn’t have the chance to post any new article, at work there were plenty of occasions to come up with new drinks. As a consequence, my cellphone is loaded with new pictures, and little by little, I’m going to release them all into the net.
I have been tinkering with Cognac recently, last month I mixed the Casta Swizzle, so this time I decided to go for a stirred and more classic looking drink, following the golden ratio dictates

FRENCH ELISIR
wpid-IMG_20130722_114258.jpg

Ingredients:
1.5 oz. Hennessy VS Cognac
0.75 oz. Gambrinus Elisir
0.50 oz. Dry Grappa by Poli
0.75 oz. Fresh lemon juice
Garnish:
Cherry on a bamboo skewer.
Prep:
Combine all the ingredients in a chilled mixing glass, and stir for quite a while to get the best dilution possible.

Elisir Gambrinus is a great substitute to any good vermouth; of course it’s more akin to a Marsala or any other sweet fortified wine, therefore the end result of the drink tend to be on the sweet side. For this reason I decided to use a little bit of fresh lemon juice and a splash of very dry grappa, and the end product is pleasant indeed. The aroma is a mix between citrus, grape notes and oak, and it prepares to a sip filled with tart cherry sensations, oak again and the distinctive dryness of grappa. This kind of fortified wine really shines in this drink, as it brings so many little nuances to the table, like the persistent oak, and a peculiar sweet black cherry flavor that really do linger after the swallow. Following the golden ratio is always a good idea, it’s really difficult to go wrong, all you need is some good base spirit and some great vermouth or fortified wine.
Here in Italy many people grimace at the thought of using grappa in cocktails, but I find it a great modifier, that works really well with Cognac or Armagnac, and an ingredient that can always add something to the drink, especially when you use a dry version of it. Of course grappa is a great spirit on its own, but so are Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados, Scotch etc. etc. The trick is to mix them with passion and to have an open mind about flavors and possible combinations. Salute!!

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