New Flavors

I finally nailed the elusive maraschino liqueur. I found a store in NYC that's willing to risk the wrath of Evan Bayh (sort of like the wrath of a pomeranian) and ship to Indiana, so I got 2 bottles of maraschino, a bottle of punt e mes for a recipe coming upthis fall, some lillet blanc (which I've found semi-locally, but since I was placing an order...), and creme de violette, for the many times I'll ever drink that. It sure is purple.

I wondered how they would ship bottles of liqueur. The company uses rectangular white styrofoam holders with bottle-shaped indentations. The creme de violette leaked just a little, but the packaging is remarkably inventive.

So I mixed up again a recipe from early in the year for a quasi-sidecar: brandy, maraschino, cointreau, and bitters. It's not my favorite sidecar, but you can definitely taste the maraschino - it's like the essence of a cherry imbues your cocktail, but you're not using use the real thing, like I usually don't.

The second drink I tried was my standard campari and gin (Bombay), but using punt e mes. As wikipedia correctly puts it, punt e mes sits between a sweet vermouth and campari. I could taste the bitter orange/quinquina in it, but it also tastes like 2/3 of the ingredients for a negroni. Just add gin. I order specifically campari and gin with lime instead of a negroni because I don't like the sweet vermouth.

So my concoction tasted like a negroni, not bad, but give me my campari and gin. A nice substitute for sweet vermouth when your cocktail needs just a little extra bite.

As a p.s.: last Wednesday evening I made a hot rum punch from my calendar to take over to friends to watch Project Runway: a whole bottle of gold rum, a bottle of brandy, a cup of sherry, 6, count 'em, 6 lemons zested and juiced, simple syrup, I don't know what all else. Boiling water.

This was the most lethal concoction of the year. (It needed more simple syrup to offset the lemons too.) I'm getting a reputation with my friends for making strong cocktails, and this surely set it in stone. I'd like to say I fell asleep on the couch (my own) later, but more accurately, I probably passed out. Whew!