Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Plaza Vieja

This name may seem like nonsense if you don't speak Spanish, but it's essentially a trilingual pun by a guy who speaks only English.  I realize that statement needs additional explanation.

So: the Vieux Carré.  This is one of my favorite "forgotten cocktails" - a subtle, incisive Manhattan variation.  Take one ounce each of rye whiskey, cognac, and red vermouth; add a double dash each of Benedictine, Angostura bitters, and Peychaud's bitters; shake the whole thing and strain into a cocktail glass with a lemon twist.  Good stuff.

Here is a riff, swapping out the cognac for añejo tequila.  Renaming to match, I translated from the drink's namesake (the old name for the French Quarter in New Orleans) to a reasonably equivalent term in Spanish.  I'm not saying it's a perfect translation, but it's a cool name!

1 oz rye whiskey (I really like Bulleit)
1 oz añejo tequila
1 oz blanc or bianco vermouth
2 dashes Bénédictine (~1/2 tsp)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes orange bitters

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with an orange peel and enjoy.

The result of this experimentation is more herbal than the original, and somewhat lighter in body; a very satisfying drink when the weather is warmer than normal.  Minnesota, man - go figure.

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