Monday, August 20, 2007

10) Cantina

1.5 oz. Tanqueray Gin
1 oz. Limoncello
.25 oz. lime juice
2 dashes orange bitters

In a shaker add the all the ingredients except the brandy. Shake briefly, just to mix the ingredients then strain into a Collins glass full of ice. Add a brandy float on top and garnish with a cherry.

This came about from a drink that Aaron, one of the fantastic bartenders at the fantastic Cantina, recently made for Ed. He was in the mood for a Pegu Cocktail (a delightful drink made with gin, Cointreau, lime juice, orange and Angostura bitters), but Aaron was feeling a little experimental and asked Ed if he minded replacing the Cointreau with Limoncello. Ed, always up for an experiment, consented. The result was quite tasty with the tartness of the Limoncello was an interesting compliment to the Gin. Both Ed and I immediately thought that the result, over ice with some soda water, would make for a fairly refreshing libation.

We were not so right.

We tried mixing up another sans soda at first, and it really didn't taste at all the same. Aaron, that rapscallion, must have done some other doctoring in secret to keep us on our toes. We added a small amount of soda hoping that it would brighten up the drink, but it just left the flavors flat and lifeless. Except for the bite of the gin. That wasn't going anywhere. Stupid gin. We decided to scale back on the gin and remove the Angostura bitters. Then I yelped, "Oh! We should add a brandy float!" I have no idea why I said that, but sometimes it best not to question such things.

The results were delightful. The Limoncello cut the bite of the Gin, but left the botanicals on the forefront. The citrus and subtle hints of the Brandy sat nicely on the palate as the initial blast of the botanicals faded. The best part was that the drink aged very well. As the ice melted into the cocktail it opened up the Gin and caused subtle changes to the character causing the flavors to pop even more.

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