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Category Archives: Dry Vermouth

Lotus-eaters

I went on a prolific sake kick the other day and made so many new drinks that Bourbon is my Spinach will be putting out a short series of sake based cocktails. For part one, I present the Lotus-eaters, a sweet, earthy, and close-your-eyes-in-insouciance-for-the-external kind of drink:

noun: a person who leads a life of dreamy, indolent ease, indifferent to the busy world; daydreamer.

  • 2 oz nigori sake (I used Rihaku Dreamy Clouds)
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz honey lavender syrup (equal parts honey and strong lavender tea)
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 1 dash black peppercorn/rosemary/grapefruit bitters
  • 2 slices cucumber

Muddle the cucumber into the sake and vermouth, add bitters and syrup, stir over ice and strain into chilled white wine glass, garnish with a lemon twist or floated cucumber slice. I recommend a wine glass so that the drink can be swirled as the solids in the sake will eventually start to sink to the bottom, though, the cocktail will also work in a coupe or cocktail glass.

Longshanks’ Revenge

With fall coming and the first bit of chill weather in the District I figured I ought to put out a cocktail with some warmer notes:

  • 1.5 Chamomile infused Famous Grouse
  • .75 Cayenne-Thyme Syrup
  • .5 Fernet Branca
  • .5 Dry Vermouth

Build in an ice filled old fashioned glass and stir lightly or turn once in a shaker.

I have a terrible time naming drinks. My chef named this one after Edward I of England (Longshanks) and his victory over William Wallace of Scotland way back around the turn of the 14th century. After thinking about it for a bit and reading up on my history I realized it makes a lot of sense: the alliance between the French and the Scots is represented in the vermouth and Scotch, issues with the Vatican are tossed in with the Fernet Branca, and the general political and military strife can be seen as the Cayenne-thyme syrup, adding heat over time. Thank you, Eric.

A note on the Scotch: take a 750 of the Grouse (it would be a shame to use anything that one would happily sip) and add a dozen chamomile tea bags, let it sit for a half hour and remove the tea. Voila, you now have a bottle of chamomile infused Scotch and you’ve done something useful with that bottle of Famous Grouse that has been collecting dust. 

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