Well, after over 2 months I figured it was time for a new cocktail review. To start this is certainly one of those drinks that has a terrible name, because it does nothing to inspire and just tells you what’s in the drink.
Names aside we’re talking about a simple drink that leans to be a significantly sweet drink best used as a digestif cocktail. The aroma lends it self very much to the creme de cassis (black currant) but also hints to the earthiness of the vermouth. With an inviting deep burgundy color accented by the lemon twist, it’s certainly a beautiful drink. The flavor profile is surprisingly smooth. Based on the two ingredient list I was skeptical but it’s in fact a well balanced cocktail. While I can normally pull a; front, mid, and after taste to a cocktail this simply teeters between cassis and vermouth over an over in that order. The flavor is very cassis forward, but you get the warm earthiness of the vermouth under it.
To rebalance the cocktail and make it more than just an after dinner sipper, I’d like to remake this with 3/4 oz of lemon juice and a dash of simple syrup. It’s a good drink but is lacking more citrus than the barely noticeable aroma on the twist. If you’re making this one for yourself try the citrusy variant for a better tasting cocktail.
Alcohol Taste Rating: 3/10
Overal Rating: 6/10
1 oz Creme de Cassis
1 oz Dry Vermouth
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist (spiral)
Today we’ve got a tasteful and tasty spin on the classic sidecar recipe. Although given your working set of ingredients you may have to substitute here and there (as I did). I want to start by highlighting my use of a VSOP Brandy in place of Metaxa (a Greek Brandy with a stronger “winey” flavor). You MAY be able to use both Brandy and some Sweet Vermouth to achieve a similar flavor to the Metaxa. The former being much easier to find than the later depending your your location, and that difference will give you a slightly different flavor profile. In addition my use of Cassis Syrup over Creme de Cassis will make my overview of it lean sweeter than it would be normally. A common variation also calls for Chambord rather than Creme de Cassis.
So, I love this drink for 2 main reasons. First is the use of the sugar rim (which is something I wish I saw in more cocktail recpies); and second is the incredible finish that keeps you going back for more. With its deep red color, you’re greeted with an incredible forward aroma of what almost smells of agave nectar. With a sip from the sugar rim you begin with a sweet and simple flavor, move to a subtle currant and lemon, then finish with a richly sweet and oaky finish. The finish is what really caught my attention with this drink. Early in your sip is just feels like a fruity sweet drink, but the complexity of the oak from the brandy to the subtle orange of the Grand Marnier makes this damn near perfect! I do wish there was more to the front and mid palette here, but I’m willing to compromise for something this good!
Alcohol Taste Rating: 7/10
Overall Rating: 9.8/10
Au Currant Sidecar
1 1/2 oz Metaxa (or VSOP Brandy)
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Creme de Cassis (or Chambord) 1 oz Grand Marnier
1 tsp Superfine Sugar
Rub the edge of a cocktail glass with the lemon wedge and rim with granulated sugar. Shake liquid ingredients and superfine sugar with ice (approx. 15 seconds). Strain into prepared glass. Garnish with a Lemon Twist.
Coming in pretty late this evening with the “Ballet Russe.” A Vodka and Creme de Cassis based cocktail with a sour tart flavor and a dark and mysterious color. The citrus juices create a foam when shaken that decorates the top of the drink, and smells slightly of sweet/sour mix.
A tart berry taste quickly moves to a sour and bitter finish as the taste of black currents rolls through your palette. Very few drinks I’ve found use any more than 1/2 an ounce of the stuff, but the citrus juices and syrup round this drink out well. I believe this drink could easily be remixed with other flavors such as raspberry, mint, or coconut (rum).
Alcohol Rating: 5-6/10
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
Make it Again? Yes, possible menu option
1 oz Vodka
3/4 oz Creme de Cassis
1 1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Simple Syrup