Thursday, March 7, 2013

To the Ladies

Ordinarily, I'm not fond of cocktails "lite" or those which are so watered down with fruit juice or soda, or just plain diluted goods, that they taste like Kool-Aid. Kool-Aid is fine for kids, and I think I must have probably sold some at a card table on the side-walk at some point as a toddler--one of those little projects that kids used to do on summer days. Or at least I may have bought some, for 5 cents a glass. 

But some people don't like strong drinks, though they don't mind the "idea" of alcohol, as long as it doesn't taste too much like alcohol. Traditionally, women have tended to like weaker drinks. Drinks have often been one probable method of manipulating women's sensible resistance toward temptation, which partly accounts for their caution. In my experience, women's taste-buds are no more delicate than men's, and they often like spicy food just as much as, or more than, men do. So delicate taste may not be the thing--it may just be delicate sensibilities, or at least the impression of that. 

In any case, here's a cocktail which I find thoroughly seductive, at least in the taste sense. It doesn't use any distilled goods, but instead contains two kinds of what are referred to as aperitifs, or fortified wines.  In Europe, where they were invented, aperitifs are popular as pre-dinner drinks, or as sipping drinks taken during the day, as at lunch or tea. They may be drunk straight, chilled, or mixed with soda. In America, aperitifs tend to be used more for mixing with goods, than by themselves, though many such proprietary brands are drunk straight or with charged water, e.g., Pernod or Lillet.    

This one is perfect for an afternoon date, though of course it could be drunk pre-dinner as well. This would make one drink.

3 parts dry vermouth
1 part St. Germaine liqueur
1/2 teaspoon simple syrup
juice of one quarter wedge fresh lemon  

Swirled in ice and served up. I wouldn't recommend this on the rocks, for the simple reason that it's already such a relatively weak drink that any further dilution would tend to make it too much like fruit juice. St. Germaine is an elderflower liqueur, delicate and aromatic. The vermouth tends to dilute its intensity, though not complicating its purity. The addition of a little sweetness and citrus brings it subtly over the line as a cocktail, instead of an straight aperitif. I find it very tantalizing. And the ladies, one surmises, would be intrigued as well.    

Something to be taken in moderation, a sip at a time. Especially if you don't want much alcohol. Something sensible, something light, something easy, something bright. 


1 comment:

Ed Baker said...

that Louise Brooks up top ? She invented that hair-cut...
here, in the white cap on the right is
My "Louise Brooks"

(as far as I am concerned) the most beautiful of all actors..... and, as you say:

"Something to be taken in moderation, a sip at a time."