Fighting the Good Fight with Cocktail Acids

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[Me thinking out loud so long ago]

I keep reading about stiff drinks made with interesting liqueur combinations. an example would be the window’s kiss.

1.5 oz. calvados or apple brandy
.75 oz. yellow chartreuse
.75 oz. benedictine
dash angostura bitters
stirred.

This drink has wild flavor contrasts and massive nuance but it is still cloying and I can barely enjoy more than a sip unless it is stingingly cold. This style of drink is sweeter than port or ice wine, but you can learn great lessons from it. Epic liqueur duo with an apple-y contrast, amazing idea. How can more drinks get in on that action? I need some serious contrast to that sugar. My thought was to split the calvados into a barrel proof spirit diluted with a very dry apple-y sherry like a manzanilla. I tried making the drink as:

.75 oz. old potrero 18th century style rye (124.3 proof)
.75 oz. la gitana manzanilla (30 proof)
.75 oz. yellow chartreuse
.75 oz. benedictine
dash of angostura bitters

I preserved the alcohol content that the calvados contributed and added acidity but still found the drink cloying. I then added another ounce of manzanilla and things started to be within the average of my tastes but my alcohol content went down which is also not good for what I wanted. Of course I could decrease the amount of liqueur relative to fortifier.

1 oz. old potrero 18th century style rye (124.3 proof)
1 oz. la gitana manzanilla (30 proof)
.5 oz. yellow chartreuse
.5 oz. benedictine
dash of angostura bitters

Mother’s milk, even when reduced, the contribution of the liqueurs is sweeter than the sweet vermouth of a Manhattan but now I have acidity from the sherry. This definitely needs to be strained over fresh ice so it can be as cold as possible and for some reason I wish it smelt of oranges.

I like this concept. The right sherries with barrel proof spirits doesn’t really interrupt my barrel flavors and gives me acidity and something economical because barrel proof spirits are never priced correctly and sherry is so affordable. Now I need to find more dry sherry and more barrel proof spirits.

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