I don’t know about you, but I think simple is always better. Simple is easy, comfortable, and reliable -in all the good ways. Whether it’s your go-to cozy, coffee shop, a classic pony tail after you realize that shaggy layers are not, in fact, a good look for everyone or your favorite cocktail. -I tend to drink by the same motto as Coco Channel accessorized. Always remove one accessory before leaving the house. -Here’s some advice from the bartender and adult beverage connoisseur in me to the bar goer in you: If a drink has more than four ingredients it is, more often than not, hiding something (and not in all the good ways).
So in the spirit (pun intended) of simplicity, I want to share with you one of my favorite new cocktails. -It’s inspired by something on the menu at The Odeon in TriBeCa, an old New York hot spot. I’m calling it Bacio Bianco, because I fancy myself as fancy and it would taste oh so much sweeter on the lips of another than a dirty martini. * The recipe is super easy and it requires stirring, so you are sure to impress your friends when you explain to them gin cocktails are stirred as to not trap air bubbles, thus causing cloudiness and froth Both of which are unwanted in this particular beverage. Alright, without further ado, here is the Bacio Blanco:
*Not to slander the holy grail of classic cocktails –The Dirty Martini- but some cocktails are just more kissable, IMHO.
Dry Vermouth: I used Dolin Dry Vermouth mostly because it’s what I had and the bottle is pretty but, I don’t find I am brand loyal when it comes to this particular spirit. Vermouth is a fortified wine aperitif. It gives the cocktail a floral aroma and a velvety texture. I used dry vermouth instead of sweet vermouth for a variety of reasons. One, I wanted the cocktail to be a uniform crystal clear and a sweet vermouth would have left traces of red behind… Two, I find the floral scents and flavors of dry vermouth to be harmonious with both gin and Luxardo. The smells of these sprits work together and who doesn’t love that initial spark of perfect, kissing chemistry.
Luxardo: Luxardo is a Maraschino cherry liqueur. This is the cocktails “secret ingredient” or the French in your kiss, if you’ll allow. It is the flavor that will entice drinkers and have them licking their lips, with its round flavor and a tart sweetness that isn’t overpowering.
Gin: I used Plymouth because I think it has a pungent, glorious juniper sent and is crisp and refreshing. Your favorite Gin will do, but as with anything, make sure you are purchasing something of good quality.
1 oz. Dry Vermouth
1 oz. Luxardo
2 oz. Gin
1 twist each of lemon and orange
Using a jigger, measure Dry Vermouth, Luxardo, then Gin into a pint glass. Fill the glass ¾ full of ice. Using a long bar spoon, stir the drink. Make sure to keep the cupped side of the spoon toward the inside of your glass and the rounded part touching the sides of the glass. Stir in long, smooth circles. Stir for about thirty seconds and then strain the drink into a martini glass or coupe. * Using a vegetable peeler, carefully peel slices of each rind about ½ inch wide and an inch and a half long. Pinch the peels above the drink and then rim the glass with them before dropping them in to garnish the drink.
*Fun Fact: The coupe was modeled after the shape of Marie Antoinette’s breast!
I hope you enjoy this simple recipe among friends and enlivened conversation. I firmly believe free spirits should share in free spirits.