Monday, February 21, 2011

A rose by any other name

After allowing myself to sleep in yesterday afternoon, I had what I thought was a brilliant idea for a cocktail shortly after waking up.  Discarding the unbearable thought of letting such an inspiration slip away, I headed straight to the kitchen to experiment.  In hindsight, some breakfast (lunch?) would have been a more prudent move.

The Thorough General
2 oz Plymouth gin
0.5 oz lime juice
0.25 oz Cocchi Americano
1 heaping tsp. yujacha*
Dash of orange bitters
Dash of rosewater

(*Korean preserved yuzu. Marmalade could be a decent substitution.)

Spurred on by this tasty experiment, I had the idea of pairing the rosewater with rhubarb.  Then remembering the rhubarb vermouth that Bob McCoy at ICOB had recently let me try, I headed over to see if Bob could make anything of the rhubarb-rose pairing.  When I put him up to the challenge, he came up with:

1.5 oz gin
0.75 oz rhubarb vermouth
0.5 oz lemon juice
0.5 oz St. Germain
Dash orange bitters
Dash rosewater

It really did taste a whole lot like late spring, early summer.  The floral notes from the St. Germain and the rosewater combined well with the rhubarb in the vermouth.  Sweet, but refreshing.  Could be dangerously approaching the territory of cloying, but doesn't quite cross the line for me.  Though for drier palates, it may be too much.

All in all, I really like the pairing of gin, citrus and rose, perhaps all the more now because of the glimpse of spring that can be felt just beyond the horizon.  I definitely think that some iteration of a cocktail featuring the rosewater will make it onto some future menu in the coming warm-weather months.  Moreover, I'd be interested to try more cocktails with the rosewater; perhaps a rickey or collins of sorts.  I like the idea of effervescence with rose.  Ah, a rosé sparkler would be all too apropos.

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