Homemade Cocktails — Experiments, Critiques & Travels
Yes, I’m about to fly off in another plane to go to another place to go on another vacation (Madison, Wisconsin to be exact). It’s summer, so I’d like a light drink, but one that’s new and interesting, and preferably something that uses Aperol, since we’re having Italian tonight. The solution? A cocktail from Zane Harris at Vessel in Seattle with the recipe given by Robert Hess.
1 1/2 ounces Cahaça (Leblon)
3/4 ounce Aperol
3/4 ounce Lemon Juice
1/2 Simple Syrup (1:1)
Dash of Peach Bitters
1 Egg White
Shake all ingredients without ice to emulsify, then shake with ice and strain into a chilled champagne flute.
Mmm, fantastic! This is the first chance I’ve had to open up my bottle of Leblon, and wow, is it something else. Grassy, vegetal, yet flowery, with a nose somewhat, but not completely unlike white wine. Now, Robert Hess suggests Boca Loca cachaça, which I haven’t tried, but if it’s milder (which I doubt), it may function better here. The Leblon blows my PiraPora, with its less distinctive flavor and greater alcoholic burn, out of the water.
The Aperol, lemon, and peach bitters are essentially modifiers in this drink, the cachaça having such a strong flavor that it remains the primary taste. I shook mine dry (i.e. sans ice) with the spring from a Hawthorne strainer before adding ice, and it foamed up nicely, almost too much. A gentler foam could be achieved by omitting the spring and shaking with ice sooner (unless, of course, you like that much foam). Be sure to check out “The Cocktail Spirit” and see Signore Hess mixing up this drink.
Afterwards, enjoy a nice glass of Aperol on ice with a lemon peel for an apértif.
Photograph by IJL