Sunday, June 17, 2012

the right drink at the right time

rendezvous is a gem hidden in plain sight. right there in central square, a restaurant with reasonable prices, creative but unflashy food (more on that to come), and a quiet bar that's always comfortably full but not too full. there are no douchebags. added plus: if you go tuesdays through saturdays at the moment, scott holliday is behind the bar ready to make you what will likely be an excellent drink.

i went there late last thursday (with lucy from voltage, who has Big Plans which cannot yet be Revealed). i felt a cold coming on and was thinking of something with traditional prophylactics—scotch, citrus, something bitter—and an oxidative note. in response, scott came up with what is undoubtedly the best drink i've had so far this year, a drink in the same category as the unjustly obscure classic, the bamboo.

this drink, which appears to have no name, is:
4: la cigarerra manzanilla sherry
1: luxardo triplum triple sec
1: cocchi aperitivo americano
1: fresh lemon juice

combined and stirred with ice, then strained into a cold lowball rinsed with ardbeg.
let's not mince words: this is a great drink. low in alcohol, high in nuance. it has the balance, mild fresh walnut and hazelnut flavours, floral notes, and briny minerality of a bamboo made with manzanilla and a good dry vermouth. it has a more bitter citrus aroma and sweetness from the triple sec, a bit of bite from the cocchi, balancing acid from the lemon, and smoke from the ardbeg. not what i expected but precisely what i wanted.

after a brief email conference, jake (my beverage advisor) and i extended the hypothesis that the drink would be very different and also tasty with rinse of talisker or the right mezcal. i have not yet met a mezcal that i liked, but jake notes that "Del Maguey San Luis Del Rio is like a young Islay malt." clearly, this bears further investigation.

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