Friday, May 7, 2010

Exhibit #30: 7 Ladies and a Communist

Cocktail Museum Sundays
Exhibit #30: 7 Ladies and a Communist
9pm-close, at the bar

In honor of May Day and Mother's Day, we present a few representatives of the fairer sex as well as a bolshevik for International Worker's Day. Boys, don't be afraid of the Ladies. They may have pretty names, but they are as robust, sometimes moreso, as cocktails with more masculine names.

Additional details and recipe proportions now added on the blog for those of you reading alcademically from afar.

Blue Lady $6
Plymouth gin, lemon juice, blue curacao, egg white, up. Antifreeze never tasted so smooth.

From the Cafe Royal bar book, by "Victor." I think the recipe in there is a misprint (2 parts curacao to 1 part each gin and lemon) because it's awfully strange for curacao to be a principal ingredient, let alone the blue stuff. So 2 parts dry gin, to 1 part each curacao and lemon instead - now that's a drink, essentially a blue Delilah with egg white.

Chinese Lady $7
Dry gin, grapefruit juice, green Chartreuse, and a splash of lemon, up. The name apparently derives from the drink's light jade color and complex fragrance.

As above, by E.J. Clarke. The original recipe goes 1.5/.75/.75, but the Chartreuse just takes over if you mix it that way. 1.5/1.0/.5 provides a much better balance. I should note that the recipe, like many in the Cafe Royal book, calls for a fruit-flavored gin, in this case lemon. I'm putting in a wee bit of lemon juice instead.

The Communist $6
Peace, bread and land! Each according to his ability, each according to his need! Dry gin, Cherry Heering liqueur, orange and lemon juices, up. A very obscure drink with a killer name. I kinda doubt they were knocking these back in the Politburo, but a good time nonetheless.

Ladies' Cocktail $5
Served neat. Pendleton Canadian whisky with dashes of absinthe, anisette and Angostura. This lady may grow hair on your nipples.

Lavender Lady $7
Dry gin, Calvados, Cointreau, lemon juice and creme de violette, up. This lady is actually more gray than lavender in appearance, and may evoke memories of going through your grandma's old things. On the sweet side, but also complex and enchanting.

People have really been liking this one. 1.0 gin (Beefeater), .5 Calvados (Coquerel VSOP), .5 Cointreau, .25 each lemon and violette.

Pink Lady $7
Dry gin, applejack, lemon juice, pomegranate syrup, and egg white, up. This lady carries a gun and will beat you at the track.

White Lady $7
Plymouth gin, Cointreau, lemon juice, egg white and a splash of cream, up. Or skip the dairy, add a little more of the secondary ingredients and it's the eternally bewitching Delilah.

Most extant White Lady recipes are Delilahs... but then, where's the white? I think egg white is a must in this drink, and I add a wee bit of cream, and keep the secondary ingredients at a half-ounce pour instead of the 3/4 called for in a Delilah. The confusion probably stems from US/British variations. I refuse to believe that the only difference between these two drinks is a slight proportion adjustment (2:1:1 on a Delilah, 3:1:1 for a White Lady)... a White Lady should be white... it just makes sense.

Widow's Kiss $7
Calvados, Benedictine, yellow Chartreuse, and a couple dashes of Angostura bitters, up. A bold, late 19th century concoction by George Kappeler, head bartender of the Holland House. Intensely aromatic and sweet, with some more bitter herbal notes to back it all up. After Kappeler published the recipe in 1895, it caught on just enough to make it into most subsequent cocktail books.

Home experiment - I made three of these last week to suss out the brandy component. One with Calvados (Coquerel VSOP), another with Laird's 7 1/2 year apple brandy (a really outstanding spirit!), and for shits and giggles, I made the last one with applejack. That was a total fail - as I expected, the applejack added too much sweetness to an already sweet drink. The aged apple brandy was very nice, adding some boozy burn. But best was the Calvados after all - it has enough transparency to allow the herbal qualities of the liqueurs and bitters to shine through while still adding some of its own personality.

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