Today we are going to continue a special wine theme. But if last time a sweet and full bodied Madeira wine was utilized in a rare pearl by Charles H. Baker, now I will explore the other side – the driest and lightest Manzanilla sherry in a contemporary creation.
Actually the La Perla Cocktail was bookmarked while I was browsing ‘The PDT Cocktail Book’ by Meehan, Jim (2011, USA) for the first time. However this post was inspired by charming Courtney Randall writings.
Jim Meehan in his book confidently reports that the cocktail was named not in honor of the luxurious lingerie brand [as we could suppose] but a London bar led by Tequila Guru Tomas Estes. A date and place of birth were clarified successfully by the genuine creator.
The most exciting experience that I wanted to achieve with this drink was familiarity with my new passion – Manzanilla. Actually I am not a big wine drinker. Particularly, most dry white wines are completely not my choice due their acidity. But it isn’t so about Manzanilla. This wine has an excellent, perfectly dry palate without any sourness. Such a great palate with light floral, chamomille, nutty and fruity notes is exceptionally interesting.
Technically, manzanilla is a special kind of dry and light sherry – a special wine from Spain. Only wines that were aged in Sanlucar de Barrameda town can be named Manzanilla.
Thus, when I ran into this bookmark some days ago I imagined vividly how excitingly smoky, sweet and fruity tequila and light floral Manzanilla will play together.
La Perla Cocktail
45 ml reposado tequila (100% de agave only)
45 ml manzanilla sherry
20 ml pear liqueur
Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass with a lot of ice. Strain into a cocktail glass or a coupe. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Some words about the ingredients and preparation. I use Corralejo Reposado Tequila 100% de agave; cheap, but not bad, Don Pablo Manzanilla Sherry and Nannerl Williamsbirnen. The manzanilla has an amazing, very fresh and fruity taste with infinitesimal acidity. As far as I’m concerned, the cocktail requires very gentle zesting with a lemon peel. This is not a place for bitterness. On the other hand, quite small quantities of lemon essential oil bring marvelous freshness to the drink.
Wow! La Perla is an amazing cocktail. It has a light, pleasant and balanced taste with an exciting combination of fruity winy notes with a little smokiness. The palate seems rather dry but you should realize that I’ve been drinking an old-fashioned Martinez all last month. So, if you want light, not bone dry, quite the opposite to a sweetish aperitive, La Perla Cocktail is a good choice.
Tags: Pear liqueur · Sherry · Tequila
Maybe somebody noticed that the Science Of Drink Blog haven’t had updates in English in a long time. Actually all this time I kept in touch with many American cocktail blogs and had a lot of fun reading them. This kind of silent participation in conversation satisfies me in general, but one day I understood clearly that I would like more. The most important things in our lives are emotions and conversations. Can you imagine something better than good companionship full of intelligent arguments and sharing experience?
Actually, all these ideas agitated me after I had found yet another quite exciting cocktail blog – the Cocktail Quiz by Courtney Randall. Brilliant writings, sophisticated cocktails, wise ideas and curious suggestions inundate this place of the World Wide Web. At that very moment I completely understood how much I missed conversations with that kind of people. And I decided to try once again.
This recipe was found on the Cocktail Quiz blog. Courtney wrote that this cocktail he found in ‘The Gentleman’s Companion: Being An Exotic Drinking Book Or, Around the World with Jigger, Beaker and Flask’ by Baker, Charles Henry Jr. (1939, USA) and that inspired me to buy the book immediately. Some days ago I got the book and now I’m ready to mix :)
Usually I try to clarify the cocktail’s story but in this case it seems impossible. Charles H. Baker Jr. reported that this cocktail was invented somewhere in New Orleans. That was almost all I could clarify 8)
In sober fact I got interested in Creole Contentment Cocktail because it is a good opportunity to utilize one of my favorite special wines – Madeira wine. I have been loving Madeira since I tested a Madeira Flip this winter and now I am going to try something else with this interesting beverage [and quite an unusual cocktail component].
Quite literally, the original formula prescribes equal parts of ingredients (except bitters certainly). But a real expert Charles H. Baker Jr. suggests to cut maraschino down by half, and increase cognac in that ratio. As I’m not a mathematician, quite the opposite I’m a lawyer :) , my recipe is the same as Courtney’s.
45 ml cognac
30 ml Madeira
15 ml maraschino liqueur
1 [generous] dash orange bitters
Stir ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry, as Baker says, this drink needs little trimming.
Some words about the ingredients I used. I took Remy Martin V.S.O.P. Cognac and Luxardo Maraschino Originale. I had set two challenges before drinking my first Creole Contentment Cocktail. First, I decided to try both recipes – the original (1:1:1) and the one above. Secondly, I wanted to compare different types of Madeira wine. Actually I’ve got two different, maybe I can say, opposite Madeiras in my bar – Henriques&Henriques Madeira Full Rich (sweet) and Special Dry (the driest one).
Certainly I started with Baker’s version [as I've understood it ;) ] with sweet, syrupy and potent Full Rich Madeira. Also I added a generous dash [usually I like to use my smallest bar spoon as a dash, about 1,25 ml] of Fee Brothers West Indian Orange Bitters. These orange bitters have a moderate, smooth taste and I like to add them without scruple :)
As a result I obtained a very interesting cocktail. It was so good! This mix tasted like a noble pearl from the Golden Age of the American Cocktail – sweet and smooth, rich, complex palate with a bunch of refined tastes with lovely chocolate notes. Undoubtedly, it’s an awesome cocktail.
As a result I obtained a very interesting cocktail. It was so good! This mix tasted like a noble pearl from the Golden Age of the American Cocktail – sweet and smooth, rich, complex palate with a bunch of refined tastes with lovely chocolate notes. Undoubtedly, it’s an awesome cocktail. As I could have supposed [ ;) ] it was absolutely clear from the first sip that I didn’t want more maraschino or less cognac in my drink. So, challenge #1 was rejected :) The formula was acknowledged as perfect.
The cocktail with Special Dry Madeira wasn’t as satisfactory as the one with Madeira Full Rich. Certainly it still tasted good, but it wasn’t awesome. Neither velvety smoothness nor noble chocolate sweet richness was in that mix. It was a pretty dry, relatively complex cocktail. But in my old-school ‘sweet tooth’ taste spoiled by Martinez [from the Golden Age of Cocktail] it was not interesting enough. Thus, I would object to using dry Madeira in this cocktail even if it is suggested by some respected people 8) Actually I’m positive that only syrupy full-bodied sweet & rich Madeiras are able to give us real creole contentment.
[Read more →]
Tags: Brandy · Madeira · Maraschino liqueur · Orange bitters
Sorry, but this post is not available in English. But coming soon!
Martinez (Jerry Thomas)
60 ml Old Tom gin
30 ml sweet vermouth
3 bsp. Luxardo Maraschino Originale
1 dash aromatic bitters
1 dash orange bitters (optional)
Stir. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with one-fourth of a lemon wheel.
Martinez (Jamie Boudreau)
40 ml gin (Old Tom or London dry)
40 ml sweet vermouth
2 bsp. Luxardo Maraschino Originale
1 dash orange bitters
Stir. Strain into a cocktail glass.
Martinez aka Gin Manhattan No.2 (Byron O.H.)
40 ml oude genever
40 ml sweet vermouth
2 bsp. orange curacao
2 dash aromatic bitters
Stir. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry or an orange twist.
Tags: Aromatic bitters · Curacao · Genever · Gin · Maraschino liqueur · Orange bitters · Orange liqueur · S.I.P. · Vermouth sweet
Amaretto Sour (ala Jeffrey Morgentaller)
45 ml amaretto
20 ml cask-proof bourbon
30 ml fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. sugar syrup (1:2)
15 ml egg white
Shake vigorously. Strain into a tumbler filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon peel and a cocktail cherry.
Tags: Amaretto · Bourbon