Three Faces

Every fall I obsess about the same thing – strong and aromatic cocktails with rum. Additionally, I prefer pretty sweet and quite powerful drinks – like Old-Fashioneds or Negronis. However, that kind of mixes, especially with light rum, is so rare, probably, because substantially all famous light rum cocktails were invented in places with hot climate so they are sours [which I, personally, prefer primarily in the summertime]. That’s why I am very happy every time if I manage to find something interesting on that score.

The Three Faces Cocktail was found on the CocktailDB several years ago. Actually, the CocktailDB is a very reliable source of worthy drinks, therefore, I suppose, this drink must have a certain reputable origin. Obviously, I made an attempt to investigate some facts about the Three Faces, at least to see what is the earliest time I could find it mentioned anywhere in print. But a solid hour of googling and flipping through a dozen old manuscripts and yet one dozen modern books, especially bibles, from the beginning of the past century up till now, gave me absolutely zero results. It seems like an absolutely rare cocktail with an unclear story.

The construction is something like a disproportioned Negroni – light rum as a base (instead of gin), sweet and herbal Galliano instead of sweet and herbal Italian vermouth, and Campari – the keystone of Negroni, is on the scene too. The name of the cocktail as though alludes to an authentic lineup. Three faces – one is Giuseppe Galliano, another is Gaspare Campari, and the other, casually anonymously indicated as light rum, is, let me speculate, … Focundo Bacardi!? 8)

The Three Faces Cocktail |

Three Faces

30 ml light rum
30 ml Galliano
15 ml Campari
splash of soda [optional]
Pour liquors in a rocks glass filled with ice cubes. Stir and add a splash of soda then garnish with an orange peel.

In practice, I prepare this cocktail by stirring instead of building. Also I reduce a splash of soda since in the fall I am, as a rule, hydrated enough ;)

In spite of the fact that all the ingredients are (or even seem) branded liquor, there is room for several mixology experiments. First of all, it seems a perfect opportunity to play with two different versions of Galliano liqueur – Vanilla and l’Authentico. And, in any case, this is a chance to try some different stuffs that are called “light rum” [and also clarify the difference from a white one].

While I was at work on this cocktail I suddenly remembered that I had tasted this cocktail some years ago. I also found a diary note about making its acquaintance – at that moment I had mixed Three Faces with a certain white rum (it seems, it was Cuban Havana Club Anejo Blanco, my favorite light rum at that time) and Galliano Vanilla (old) liqueur. I’m pretty certain that I liked the drink, otherwise I wouldn’t have taken its pictures. But, it seems, I didn’t like it enough for blogging about.

The Three Faces Cocktail |

This time a first cocktail I mixed was with Campari, Galliano l’Authentico and Bacardi Superior. It is an excellent drink! It was clear from the first sip – it is a terrific use of Galliano l’Authentico liqueur. Its compose botanical nose and a palate with a preponderant anise note complete this sophisticated digestif perfectly. You don’t need more than a couple of sips to realize that Galliano l’Authentico is a base spirit of this drink, as light rum isn’t more than a diluent. The main play goes between two distinctive Italian liquors, and I should admit it, their powerful tastes combine wonderfully here. Rum plays a supporting role – it fittingly dilutes and balances the mix. Perhaps rum does bring certain sweet rum-y notes, but it’s not so easy here.

However Galliano Vanilla can’t stand up to Galliano l’Authentico in this cocktail. This version of Galliano looks too simple in the face of the authentic brother. Obviously Vanilla isn’t able to effect so voluptuously as l’Authentico. By the way, it is the first time than I’ve been so satisfied with new old Galliano l’Authentico [as opposed to in Golden Cadillac, but this is another story]. It seems like exceptionally worthy stuff.

Rum contest was relatively short at this time. As a matter of fact Bacardi rum [I used not common Bacardi Superior but Bacardi Superior Heritage Limited Edition 44,1% – the anniversary edition of the famous rum. Posh, expensive and undoubtedly recognizable.]… so, the rum worked pretty nice even in my first drink, but I decided to try something, you now, a little bit more flavorful in the drink. So I tasted several light rums of the Spanish tradition such as Matusalem Platino, Havana Club Anejo Blanco and 3 y.o. The first two rums give absolutely splendid cocktails but the other brings some odd notes that in fact ruins the drink [this also demonstrates the difference between light and white rums, by the way. All is not light that white, folks!]. Consequently, I refused tasting even more heavy rums in this cocktail.

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Crimson Slippers

I would like to make the point that classic or vintage cocktail sources do not always satisfy my imbibing thirst because – it must be admitted – many great cocktail combinations remain beyond them. There are many reasons for that. Certainly, barmen of the old days used only the liquors that they had in stock, and the knowledge that they were able to acquire. Therefore, the limited availability of imported beverages, low level of market integration (and, probably, relatively narrow and hard-to-find information sources) resulted in the limited number of approved combinations created on either side of the Atlantic. These combinations are, undoubtedly, exceptional, but some of those omitted seem not in any way worse.

One of the best examples is mixing rum (especially dark) and Campari. There are some truly classic compositions with Campari and gin (famous Negroni Cocktail), and Campari and whiskey (Boulevardier). They are both excellent choices, but the combination of Campari with aged rum, although very interesting, is relatively unknown.

Fortunately, we live in the days of globalization, total market integration, and perfect information availability. Thus the question of untested cocktail combinations will be solved in the nearest future ;) And it is specifically we, the cocktailian bloggers, who will play a big role in sifting out cinders from ashes and turning them into future classics (certainly, if we don’t shy away from that) 8) So, let’s go!

Crimson Slippers |

The Crimson Slippers Cocktail arrived in my GoogleReader [R.I.P., bro. I am still miss you] account on Nov. 10, 2010 [from Doug Ford], and was noticed straightway, not least because rum being my favorite base spirit at the time. Plus, it was a very interesting combination of Campari and Cointreau (they nicely work together – for example, in the Lucien Gaudin Cocktail). All of this promised a lot of enjoyment… However, I checked the history, and lost my appetite. Damn snoberry didn’t let me try the thing I wanted :) What a shame!

Let me explain: the Crimson Slippers Cocktail was created by a freelancer food-writer A.J. Rathbun. He came up with it in the hot August of 2008 and posted the recipe on his blog. After a while the recipe was published in his book Dark Spirits (2009). Thus it seemed insufficiently classic for me even though it was approved by several very respected blogs like the aforementioned Cold Glass and A Mountain of Crushed Ice.

But let me look at this from the agathist point of view now :) – whatever happens happens for the best. I am really getting a lot of fun out of this libation here and now when I am so in need of such pleasure.

The Crimson Slippers Cocktail |

Crimson Slippers

60 ml dark rum
30 ml Campari
15 ml triple sec (Cointreau)
1 [generous] dash Peychauds bitters
Stir the ingredients in a mixing glass with a lot of ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wedge (OR [that I prefer] you may also rub the inside of the glass with the outside of the fresh cut lime wedge).

A few words about the ingredients. The key one is Campari – a vivdly red, extremely bitter, herbal, palatable Italian aperitif. You may ask why I qualified Campari as the key ingrediend of the drink… You, certainly, could, but only if you have never tasted Campari :) It has such a distinctive and remarkable palate that it undoubtedly can’t be forgotten. And, by the way, I’m totally convinced that a bottle of Campari is essential in any cocktail bar.

The next question is triple-sec liquor. Originally, A.J. used for his first sips a homemade liqueur, which was ‘not too sugary’ and ‘orange-y enough’; now he prescribes merely a triple-sec. Actually, I’m pretty sure that an excellent choice here is Cointreau, surely the best or, at any rate, one of the best triple secs ever.

As for bitters, I strictly follow A.J.’s suggestion, – Peychaud’s, but if you haven’t got it, good orange bitters will probably work well, too.

And the last but not least: the question of a base spirit. A.J. simply prescribes a dark rum. Precisely these twoo words have been giving me a lot of fun for a month or so now 8) Actually, I tend to treat the term “dark rum” as broadly as I possibly can. As a matter of fact, I’ve got more than three dozens of rums in my liquor cabinet now and practically two dozens of them are dark. I think even big rum connoisseurs won’t argue with me that any aged rum is dark enough for this drink :) On this scientific assumption, I’ve tried making the Crimson Slippers not only with heavy and dark rums of the English tradition but also with the well-aged, let’s say, rons and rhums :)

The Crimson Slippers Cocktail Composition |

After superfluous (yeah, I should admit it) testing, I have made two main conclusions – a general and a particular one.

First, the general conclusion: there is no dark rum that will spoil the Crimson Slippers. If you pick a good rum, you’ll get a good cocktail. It’s amazing! No matter how powerful your rum is, it’ll play in the Crimson Slippers well. If it is powerful enough, it will bring beautiful vanilla and sweet rum (sugarcane, warm spices, and candied fruit) notes into this potent, bitter-sweet drink. If it is too powerful, it will be able to play with Campari and Cointreau head-to-head. And, to be honest, I can’t imagine a rum which would overpower an ounce of Campari ;)

Now, the particular conclusion: for me, the Cuban rum Havana Club 7 y.o. has become a favourite. This rum makes for a drink which corresponds completely to all my imaginings about a perfect play of a well-aged rum with bitter sweet Campari and Cointreau.

So, let’s summarize: the Crimson Slippers isan absolutely marvelous truly aromatic type of cocktail. It is rich, strong, full of different herbs, spices, and citrus fruits. And, yeah, it is on a sweet side. It should be totally right for a ‘sweet tooth’ mood, like all these sweet and strong, exquisitely classic concoctions from the Golden Age of Cocktails :)

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Bacardi Special

Итак, пока некоторые все еще (надеюсь!) пытаются успеть в последний вагон уходящего поезда рейса S.I.P.-а №15 «Daiquiri», я выдаю нагора третий дайкири-инспирированный пост :) Сегодня он будет посвящен одной из вариаций коктейля Bacardi (который сам по себе вариация Daiquiri), а именно его особой версии – коктейлю Bacardi Special.

Этот коктейль прежде всего примечателен сочетанием двух крепких, совершенно казалось бы разных, если не взаимоисключающих, спиртных напитков – светлого рома Bacardi и джина. Причем, с одной стороны, это сочетание долгое время казалось мне совершенно несъедобным, хотя с другой стороны, я еще со своего первого МиксоПона помню мантру от Джефри Моргенталлера – “читатель, помни, что джин и белый ром имееют похожий ароматический профиль, и это потенциально несет тебе [читатель] много интересного” :) И вот время этого интересного пришло.

Оттолкнулся я в своем постижении коктейля Bacardi Special от хрестоматийного коктейльного труда прошлого века – ‘The Savoy Cocktail Book’ Гарри Крэддока. Рецепт в этой книге нетипично информативный (указаны марки и рома (но это понятно) и джина (Burrough’s Beefeater), да еще приведено примечание, что этот коктейль приобрел свою популярность благодаря Карлу К. Китчену – известному в то время нью-йоркскому бон-вивану и колумнисту.

Итак, в общем случае коктейль Bacardi Special (Бакарди Особый) состоит из 2 частей белого рома Бакарди, 1 части джина London Dry, некоторого количества сока лайма и некоторого количества гренадина. Чтобы вполне насладиться сочетанием рома и джина я превентивно уменьшил количество гренадина и сбалансировал смесь простым сиропом [но я не один такой умный, например у Майкла Джексона мы можем видеть такой же трюк1].

Bacardi Special Cocktail |

Bacardi Special

45 ml light rum Bacardi
20 ml gin
15 ml fresh lime juice
10 ml simple syrup
1 bsp. grenadine
Shake all ingredients with a lot of ice.

Странный метод приготовления я почерпнул у М.Джексона. И хотя, как мне кажется, двухэтапный шейк имеет совершенно гомеопатическое значение, я его оставил :)

Ром – Ron Superior de Bacardi Heritage Limited Edition, джин – Hendrick’s, Гренадин – Monin Pomegranate / Monin Grenadine – прекрасно! Начиная с милейшего розоватого экстерьера и заканчивая, конечно же, тонким стоящим вкусом. Надо признать, что легкий ром и джин прекрасно сочетаются, я бы сказал, между ними наблюдается определенный синергизм «свежести». Дело скорее всего в том, что ром Bacardi основной нотой, как мне кажется, имеет что-то травянистое, флоральное… скажем так… свежий сахарный тростник, с другой стороны джин имеет в своей основе целый букет разных трав (а Hendrick’s еще и овощей), в итоге имеем очень интересный sour ботанической направленности.

Легкий, кисловатый (это у меня синоним слова кислый, но как можно сказать «кислый» про коктейль с сахарным сиропом? Могут не понять) коктейль с очень интересным вкусом, в котором ажурно сливаются свежие ноты рома, джина и лайма. При этом, действительно, джин и ром Bacardi работают в унисон, их вкусы сплавляются, давая в результате яркую и необычную вариацию такого хорошего Дайкири (в котором джин очень неплохо, интересно подправляет легкий Bacardi). Совершенно особый Бакарди. Рекомендую.

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