Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Miscellaneous: Yet Another New Cocktail (February 29, 2012)

Rare it is to witness the birth of a classic. Presumptuous it is of me to think that this new cocktail I've concocted will become a classic, but, I rather like it, and I have high hopes for it. I've even decided to call it by my own name: The Talcroft. Here is the recipe.

The Talcroft
1 oz quality Vodka
1/2 oz Gin (I prefer Bluecoat American)
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (I prefer Noilly)
1/4 oz Averna Amaro Siciliano
1/4 oz Malibu Coconut rum (but see below)

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir until thoroughly chilled. Strain into a well-chilled martini glass. Garnish with a paper-thin wheel of lemon.

This drink, like a classic Manhattan, perfectly balances the sweet and the dry, and spicy herbal flavors (in this case, the gin and the dry vermouth) with the sweet and the exotic (the Averna and the coconut rum). In short, it is a delectable opposition of disparate flavors. Making cocktails, I've decided, is very much like painting, but it's an exercise in painting with flavors rather than colors and textures.

Important note: the proportions above assume the use of the very distinctively flavored Bluecoat gin. A more neutral gin might require using a little less vodka and a little more of the gin. (The Bluecoat is delicious in martinis, too).

I imagine this drink could be made with a coconut-flavored vodka instead of the coconut-flavored Malibu rum, but I don't want to buy a whole bottle of coconut vodka just to try that out, and I suspect that using only coconut Vodka would make the coconut flavor too strong. The thing to remember is that the coconut should be in the background; its presence should be just apparent. It should be the sort of flavor that sends the mind searching for a name--something familiar but not immediately obvious. It should add an element of mystery rather than make a statement.

[Update: I bought a bottle of Bacardi Coconut Rum following this post and compared it to the Malibu Coconut Rum. The latter seems coarse and excessively sweet in comparison. I tried the Talcroft using the Bacardi Coconut Rum and it results in a drier, altogether more subtle drink. I would now recommend making this drink using Bacardi Coconut Rum rather than the Malibu Coconut Rum.]

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