Monday, December 13

Alexander's Sister Cocktail

Gin? With Cream? Again? Well, at least I've got no end of pictures of cocktails that look all white and smooth in a cocktail glass...

Alexander's Sister Cocktail:
  • 1 oz. Gin
  • 1 oz. Creme de Menthe
  • 1 oz. Cream
Shake and strain into 4 oz. Cocktail glass.

The Creme de Menthe is a bit of a curveball, admittedly. I actually had a good feeling about mixing something juniper-y (like the gin) and something minty. Maybe that's because I've got previous good experience with cocktails that combine gin and mint, though admittedly, (and seemingly the same as with the Creme de Cacao) I much prefer a fresh sprig of mint to something from a bottle. Again, this is a Marie Brizard product that I'm using (White Mint Liqueur, in this case), and again I'm less than impressed, moreso because of how unrelenting the flavor is than the overall product, which is nice and sweet and smooth. Which will be good in a drink that uses very small proportions or just a dash to add something interesting in the background, but when the liqueur is a base spirit, it's just a bit overwhelming.

I think this brings up an important point: every product is different, so the great bartender is the one who knows everything behind the bar and can make adjustments on the fly to still produce a fantastic cocktail. Now, the very best bartender also knows his or her clients, knows their tastes, knows what they are expecting when they order a particular drink, and is also willing to make adjustments based around that. For instance, in my limited experience with gin as realized in the Martini, I can usually find a variation or version of the cocktail that works well with any given brand of gin, which is really handy when you're out at the bar and want something good. It's also damn infuriating (probably for the bartender, too) to ask for a Martini and feel this compulsion within yourself to be super exact on the details: what ratio, what bitters (if any), what garnish, up or on the rocks. (Trick question: the answer to that last one is always "up". Savages.) But it's equally infuriating to ask for a Martini and receive a cold, frothy glass of vodka and ice. Maybe ignorance really is bliss...

For some brands of spirits, this time-tested ratio will unleash the absolute perfect drink; for others, the result can be just okay. Bartending is certainly more involved than just putting a few things into a glass and shaking it around until something cold comes out. Art. And science. And I'm a nerd.

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