Sunday, April 19, 2009

Testing New Cocktails - Part 1


I have been asked to create a cocktail for the Share Our Strength charity event sponsored by Belvedere and St. Germain. This, of course, requires many rounds of creating test cocktails... a challenge from which I have never had a problem walking away. This evening's tests included:

1) 3 parts Belvedere vodka, 1 part Lillet blanc, 1/2 part St. Germain, lemon twist. Stirred in a cocktail shaker and strained into a chilled martini glass. This cocktail was a little too sweet for my tastes (maybe too much St. Germain), but it was still pretty good. It was fresh, with some sweetness and an air of fresh cut flowers. The Lillet provides a roundness and character different from dry vermouth.

2) 2 parts Belvedere vodka, splash of St. Germain, top with grapefruit juice, splash of orange juice. Served over ice in an Old Fashioned type glass. A well balanced drink with the underlying tone and subtle sweetness from the St. Germain and the crispness and freshness from the grapefruit juice. This drink does not highlight the vodka. Next time, I'll swap cranberry juice for the orange juice for some additional tartness.

3.1) 3 parts Belvedere vodka, capful of Dolin dry vermouth, 1/2 part St. Germain, lemon twist. Stirred in a cocktail shaker and strained into a chilled martini glass. The dry vermouth provides a crisper, less round component than the Lillet

3.2) 3 parts Belvedere vodka, capful of Dolin dry vermouth, 1/2 part St. Germain, float of Laphroig 10 Year Old Scotch, lemon twist. Stirred in a cocktail shaker and strained into a chilled martini glass. The Laphroig perhaps overpowers this cocktail slightly, but it also adds a lovely smokey, peaty character that reduces the sweetness of the St. Germain.

4) 2 parts Belvedere vodka, 1/2 part St. Germain, 1 1/2 parts Aperol, grapefruit juice. Add the Belvedere vodka, St. Germain, Aperol to an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice and top off the drink with grapefruit juice. This is a really fresh, tart, bitter, sweet spring/summer drink. A splash of soda would lighten this up further. I can just imagine drinking this over looking the sea on the coast of Italy.

More cocktail tests to come....

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