Friday, September 14, 2012

Equal Yet Different....

After a long hiatus Mixology Monday is back in action and with Cocktail Virgin Slut blogger, Fred Yarm, now heading the reigns, we are sure to start seeing some great challenges and spirited libations spring forth.  This month's entry delves into the realm of "equal parts" cocktails.  With some great revivals like the Corpse Reviver #2 and the Americano this is a great way to showcase the harmony and complexity of a cocktail.  By applying equal part ingredients, you tend to not have one flavor necessarily dominate over another.  This is also by far more challenging because now every ingredients aroma, flavor and in some cases, texture, will be more present then if you were simply making a tequila or gin cocktail leading the band with other ingredients being the back-up singers.  It either takes a keen knowledge and understanding of individual flavors and profiles of specific ingredients, or a lot of experimentation to get it just right. 

Let's take the Corpse Reviver #2 or the Last Word into consideration:  they both are great examples of taking specific ingredients and marrying them based upon how well they play with one another.  One ingredient helps balance and meld with another to create something harmonious.  While it may be arguable that the Corpse isn't an "equal parts" cocktail due to the "dash" of pastis or absinthe, I think it's a matter of opinion as a "dash" is very subjective in what the quantity is.  In any case, the melding of gin, lemon, cointreau and aromatized wine lends forth a delicious and balanced cocktail, as was the intention.  The Last Word is similar in that the gin's botanical notes play off of the funkiness of the maraschino and the herbaceous tones of the Chartreuse and all are balanced by the tartness and grassy character of fresh lime. 

Corpse Reviver # 2
3/4 oz Gin
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Lillet Blanc
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
Dash of Pastis or Absinthe

Rinse a chilled cocktail glass with the absinthe, set aside.  In shaker tin combine remaining ingredients wtih ice.  Shake and strain into the absinthe laced glass.  Enjoy.

Last Word
3/4 oz Gin
3/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Enjoy.  *Note, you sometimes also see this recipe done with 1/2 oz proportions as well.

It's no small feat to attempt to create something in the veil of these classics.  Where do I start?  What ingredients will I choose?  Am I overthinking this??  Well, I know that pisco is something that I want to start with.  Summer may be at a close (at least almost for us in the Northwest) but I really want to utilize one of my favorite summertime spirits.  Pisco has that funky, almost musty character to it so it can be a challenge to use.  I started thinking about things that would go well with it.  Lime makes sense so that will be my sour component.  Searching through my library of cocktail books and magazines I noticed an ingredient that I rarely use but has qualities that I think would complement pisco's unique character, Swedish Punsch.  That smokey, slightly sweetend sugar cane based love child of Batavia Arrack would play very well with pisco and lime, and I thought the bitter quinine and fruit character of Cocchi Americano would help tie everything together.  Well, it's tasty non-the-less and the name taken from Hamelt reflects the unkown future of how cocktails can be created and evolve into something unexpected.

Undiscovered Country
3/4 oz Pisco
3/4 oz Swedish Punsch
3/4 Cocchi Americano
3/4 Fresh Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Enjoy.




Well, there you have it.  My attempt at "equal parts" glory.  If you want to see more entries go to Cocktail Virgin Slut website and see all the other Mixology Monday entries.  I plan on it, so should you.  Cheers!

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