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A Spontaneous Libation for your Consideration

A Simple Quandary

1 oz Aquavit, North Shore
1 oz Gin, Uncle Val's Botanical
1⁄2 oz Bénédictine
Instructions

Stir, strain, chilled cocktail glass.

Notes

For a less spice driven flavor, use a more traditional Aquavit. Very complex with multiple layers or flavors and aromas.

History

This recipe lead me to being a finalist for the 2013 Uncle Val's Best Botanical Gin Contest held at the Night Club & Bar Show in Las Vegas.
Also just named one of Gaz Regan's 101 Best New Cocktails of 2014.

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Average rating
4 stars
(25 ratings)

From the Knowledge Vault

On the ‘Rack

The Curious History of an Early Spirit

It went like this, but wasn’t. Some four thousand years ago in Mespotamia, the perfumers at the court of King Zimrilim created a technique to separate the essential oils of precious woods and flowers from the woods and flowers themselves in order to embalm their dead. Originally, this probably involved soaking flower petals in warm water and capturing the fragrant oils that rose to the surface. What they called this method is lost, but other cultures refined their work into the art and science now known as distillation.

Many ancient scientists ran up against this phenomenon. In the fourth century BCE, Aristotle realized that seawater could be made drinkable by distillation, and that the process could be applied to wine and other liquids, though there is no record of his actually distilling wine. To the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks, distillation must have seemed like magic, and their knowledge was guarded from unknowing eyes.

A major advancement in distilling came between the 3rd and 4th century CE with the invention of the alembic (from the Greek ambix – a cup, typically made of glass) by Zosimos of Panopolis, an Egyptian. Having two vessels, one with the liquid to be distilled and one to catch condensed vapors with a tube running between them gave much more control and finesse to this delicate process. With a few modifications, this device is now known as a pot still.

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Recent Discussion

  • Re Gods of Old, 7 hours 45 minutes ago HallA commented:

    Excellent Meletti cocktail with nice dark notes from the amaro and creme de cacao balancing rye spice. Very nice.

  • Re Cuban Anole, 1 day 16 hours ago davidnir commented:

    The first sip or two is tasty, but ultimately I found the drink too sweet. Even though PKNY listed it in the Mai Tai section of its menu (I'm guessing because of the agricole), the lack of Curaçao makes it a lot closer to a Daiquiri. The spec, then, only has 1.5 oz of r(h)um to 1 oz of syrup, making it proportionally almost twice as sweet as a traditional Daiq, which would typically have 2 oz of rum and just .75 oz of sugar. I personally would not make again.

  • Re Northern Lights (David Delaney Jr.), 3 days 5 hours ago PromBox commented:

    ‘French 75’ with cranberry. Lime juice mixes better with the sour cran than the lemon imo. We used a 50/50 mix with a Freixenet cava. Be sure to double strain.

  • Re Rational Thought, 5 days 5 hours ago Zachary Pearson commented:

    I've always thought that the PF Curacao tasted like baby aspirin. Thanks, Zachary

  • Re Rational Thought, 6 days 17 hours ago bvankammen commented:

    Good use of the pear, which comes through in the right amount. I did not like the contribution of the curacao as much, which gave the drink a "Smarties" taste. Overall it's an extremely fruity cocktail. Not bad, but also just forgettable.