Is it hot out or what? (Actually, it's not. It's been raining for days. But it hadn't been when I started this.) Not that drinks with sparkling wine should be neglected in the cooler months but man they do taste nice when it's warm outside.  

Mexico 70 on the left, La Cola Nostra, right

Mexico 70 on the left, La Cola Nostra, right

Mexico 70 - Tequila, Lime Juice, Agave Nectar, Champagne
La Cola Nostra - Rum, Averna, Lime Juice, Pimento Dram, Simple Syrup, Champagne

The Mexico 70 is simple and refreshing. Agave, champagne and lime juice. Light body and bright flavors. Been meaning to try this one with mezcal. Maybe next time. La Cola Nostra on the other hand is something else entirely. Rich, dark, deep and complex. Layers of spice from the Averna and Pimento Dram. The rum smooths things out with vanilla and oak while the champagne gives the drink a bit of a lift.

Kir Royale left, Rossini right

Kir Royale left, Rossini right

Kir Royale - Creme de Cassis, Champagne
Rossini - Strawberry Puree, Prosecco

The Kir Royale places dark blackcurrant fruit flavor alongside champagne. Simple and delicious. The Rossini gave me a chance to pick the half cup or so of strawberries that the birds hadn't yet devoured. I don't know what variety of strawberries we have in the backyard exactly. They taste great but aren't as sweet as other strawberries I'm used to. I ended up adding some simple syrup to this one.

Velvet Club

Velvet Club

Velvet Club - Cognac, Lillet Blanc, Creme de Cacao, Champagne

This one leads with an abundance of fruit. I know it's mainly grapes going on in the ingredients but I felt like there were also some apple and pear flavors tucked beneath the grapes. The cognac/champagne interplay is nice with the oak from the cognac offering a bit of depth. Lillet backs things up nicely. Surprisingly, the creme de cacao lingers behind the other ingredients. Along with the Lillet it contributes a nice silky-smooth mouthfeel in addition to a pleasant hint of chocolate that is somehow not out of place.

One-Armed French Hooker left, Nouveau Fleur right

One-Armed French Hooker left, Nouveau Fleur right

One-Armed French Hooker - Genever, St. Germain, Grapefruit Juice, Peychaud's Bitters, Prosecco
Nouveau Fleur - St. Germain, Tequila, Aperol, Grapefruit and Lime Juice, Salt, Prosecco

These drinks were on facing pages in Fred Yarm's Drink & Tell. I was initially planning on making the Nouveau Fluer but since they had several ingredients in common I figured I'd go ahead and make the more evocatively titled One-Armed French Hooker as well. St. Germain and grapefruit is a nice combination and the Nouevau Fleur lets those two, along with the Aperol, provide the bulk of the flavor with the tequila and lime juice following just behind. Light and refreshing. The citrus is offset by sweeter elements but not in a way that results in an overly sweet drink.

The One-Armed French Hooker adds genever to the grapefruit/St. Germain combination. The result is a nice contrast between the earthy malt character of the genever and the lighter, floral quality of the St. Germain. This one was a bit sweet for me. Extra prosecco helped but I might try pulling the St. Germain back a bit next time.

Jimmie Roosevelts - Brian Rea's version left, Charles Baker Jr.'s (scaled down) right

Jimmie Roosevelts - Brian Rea's version left, Charles Baker Jr.'s (scaled down) right

Jimmie Roosevelt - Cognac, Sugar, Angostura Bitters, Green Chartreuse, Champagne

The preparation of Baker's version is much more involved. Cracking the ice, sliding in an Angostura soaked sugar cube and watching it sink beneath the ice (which will eventually act as a filter) when pouring in the champagne. Then floating a bit of Green Chartreuse on top of the whole thing. There's an almost ritualistic component to putting this one together. Like a good Mint Julep, certain drinks require more time and effort. Sometimes this can have an indirect effect on the overall perception of a particular drink. It's hard not to bring an added appreciation to that first sip. If the drink works then all of that effort is entwined with, and elevates, the whole experience. Fortunately, this one works. Baker's Jimmie Roosevelt has stages. It starts with champagne, cognac, and Chartreuse (a pleasant club of C's) and eventually, over successive sips the bitters and sugar begin to integrate more thoroughly. What begins as herbs and grapes and effervescence eventually transitions to a darker, slightly sweeter flavor. Chartreuse, even at just 1/2 oz, contributes its richly herbal flavor all the way to the end.

Brian Rea's version is also delicious and has the added benefit of being a breeze to make. This one doesn't unfold the way the other version does - the flavors here are intact and consistent from beginning to end. Both versions are great.

Recipes:

Mexico 70 - Ryan Fitzgerald, Beretta, San Francisco
1 oz Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Agave Nectar
Top - 3 oz Chilled Sparkling Wine
Garnish - Lime Wheel or Twist

Shake, Strain, Top with Champagne

 

La Cola Nostra - Don Lee, PDT, New York
1 1/2 oz Zacapa 23 Year Rum
1 oz Averna
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Simple
1/4 oz Pimento Dram
Champagne

Shake, Strain, Top with Campagne

 

Kir Royale
1 oz Creme de Cassis
4 oz Champagne

Build in a flute

 

Rossini
1 oz Strawberry Puree
4 oz Prosecco

Build in a flute

 

Velvet Club - Jane Danger, PDT, New York
1 oz Hine VSOP Cognac
1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz Creme de Cacao
Top - 1 oz Moet Imperial Champagne

Stir, Strain, Top with Champagne

 

One-Armed French Hooker - Emma Hollander, Trina's Starlite Lounge, Somerville
1 1/2 oz Bols Genever
1 oz St. Germain
1 oz Grapefruit Juice
2 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
Top - 1 oz Prosecco

Shake, Strain, Top with Prosecco

 

Nouveau Fleur - Carrie Cole, Eastern Standard, Boston
1 oz St. Germain
1/2 oz Chinaco Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Pink Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 pinch Salt
Top - 2 oz Dry Sparkling Wine

Shake, Strain, Top with Sparkling Wine

 

Jimmie Roosevelt - Charles H. Baker Jr, Gentleman's Companion, 1939
3 oz Cognac
1 Angostura-Soaked Sugar Cube
6 oz Champagne
2 Tbsp Green Chartreuse

"Fill a big 16 oz thin crystal goblet with finely cracked ice. In the diametrical center of this frosty mass went a lump of sugar well saturated with Angostura, then 2 jiggers good French cognac, then fill the glass with chilled champagne, finally floating on very carefully 2 tbsp of genuine Green Chartreuse - no pineapple, no mint sprig, no cherry garnish. It is cooling, refreshing, invigorating, a delight to eye and palate."

Seeing as how I don't have a 16 oz thin crystal goblet I opted to cut the quantities in half for this one.

 

Jimmie Roosevelt - Brian Rea's version
1 1/2 oz Chateau de Plassons VSOP Cognac
3/4 oz Green Chartreause
2 dashes Angostura
Top - Sparkling Wine, Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noir

Shake, Strain, Top with Sparkling Wine

Posted
AuthorTrey