Tuesday, July 17, 2007

2) The Saint

1.5 oz. Square One vodka
.5 oz St. Germain Elderflower liqueur
Three dashes peach bitters
.5 oz Cointreau Splash of Oronoco rum
Squeeze of lemon
Squeeze of lime
One strawberry

In a shaker, muddle the strawberry with the bitters.
Add ice, then the rest of the ingredients.
Shake for several mins - You want to get the drink as cold as possible. Ideally you'll get a nice sort of vodka ice sheen when you pour the drink.
Strain into a martini glass and garnish the rim with another strawberry.

Ultimately this was a bit of a tough one. As you'll see by the rather diverse set of ingredients, there was a lot of tweaking. We decided on vodka as the base spirit, and thought a bit about a flavored one, but ultimately chose plain old vodka to give us a neutral place to start. I had recently had a cocktail using St. Germain and had that ingredient in mind - A little taste and smell and I was set on making that the primary flavor. Ed voted for a splash of peach bitters and a strawberry garnish and we were off to the races.

Our first attempt was ok - It smelled fantastic, especially as the strawberry scent came across - but it was pretty flat overall. The top notes were there, but it was missing a floor to compliment it. Ed went for the Cointreau (a true savior, but we gotta get away from it soon) and I went for a few more dashes of bitters. That helped, but we were still missing something. In a fit of desperation I smooshed up a bit of the strawberry and tossed it in (a technique, by the way, which is highly scientific and sanitary). That too helped, but we were still missing a bottom to compliment the top.

Fortunately J. (another excellent bartender) was there to help out.
"Well," He said. "When you're using St. Germain your best bet is to go tropical." Woo hoo! I thought. Woo hoo cause this was my chance to get him to some Oronoco rum for which I have an unnatural (but beautiful!) love for. Ed thought it would also be worthwhile to muddle the strawberry as well to get that smooshed fruit mojo. The final product was excellent. The Oronoco provided the perfect balance to the St. Germain, and the strawberry added a nice hit of fruity sweetness overall.

Told you it was a complicated one.

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