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The Stargazer

Wes dug this one up on DrinkBoy.com — Robert concocted it in 2006 for one of the “Spirited Dinners” during Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, to accompany a dish at Antoine’s called Filet de truite aux ecrevisses cardinal (de saison). The menu at Antoine’s is in French so, for non-Francophones, filet of trout, grilled or fried, with crawfish tails in season (shrimp out of season) in a white wine sauce.

We were both surprised at how much better it turned out than we thought it would, and this was with Old Overholt as the rye. It’s really terrific with Rittenhouse 100.

The Stargazer

1-1/2 ounces rye whiskey.
1-1/2 ounces Lillet blanc.
1-2 dashes Angostura bitters.

Combine with ice and stir for no less than 30 seconds. Garnish with a thin slice of lemon peel, after expressing the lemon oil into the drink.

If I manage to get ahold of some quinine I might put in a tiny pinch as per Wondrich’s idea with the Vesper, and see what kind of interesting things happen. (I might also look into making a tincture of quinine to add a small dash to anything that might require a little extra bitter edge … *add to to-do list*).

I know that Capt. Jean-Luc Picard was more of a wine drinker, but I think if he had a signature cocktail this might be it, as it bears the same name as the ship of his first command. Then again, Jean-Luc might prefer something Cognac-based …


Cocktail of the Day: El Floridita No. 1

We had a bunch of people over Saturday night for a potluck and cocktail tasting, which was tons of fun. It was a lot of the same folks who came to our wine tasting last year, and this was even better because this time around we knew a lot more about what we were talking about (heh). We served taster-sized (about 1.5-2 oz.) portions of four different drinks: the Corpse Reviver No. 2, the Mother-in-Law Cocktail, the Widow’s Kiss and this one, a lovely variation on the daiquiri. This was the house cocktail at the El Floridita Hotel in Havana, Cuba, and the recipe comes from the hotel bar’s recipe booklet, printed in the 1930s.

In fact, this is how Daiquiris are made at Boadas Bar in Barcelona, Spain. The bar was founded in 1933 by Miguel Boadas, a Havana-born Cuban of Catalan parents, and is still run by his family. Their Floridita-style Daiquiris are served in coupes over crushed ice, which would be a good idea for this drink as well.

The El Flordita No. 1

The El Floridita No. 1

2 ounces light rum.
3/4 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice.
1/2 ounce simple syrup.
1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur.

Combine with ice in a cocktail shaker, shake for at least 10-12 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. No garnish is specified, but Boadas uses a cocktail cherry, and a lime wheel wouldn’t be inappropriate if you so choose.

We made this with 10 Cane Rum, a relatively new agricole-style rum from Trinidad that we like a lot. At Boadas you get Havana Club (of course).

[UPDATED February 3, 2010]