I spent much of today eagerly refreshing my RSS feed and reading the new Mixology Monday posts, hosted this month at Jimmy’s Cocktail Hour. I wasn’t sure what to post on myself – as a rank newbie to the cocktail world, most of my variations have involved trying out the variations I’m finding in many other blogs. It’s scary to try completely new things.
I thought maybe I’d experiment a little more with the Corpse Reviver #2. Lillet is one of those revelatory discoveries for me. I reread the Kaiser Pengiun post, and followed the link to the eGullet thread on Lillet drinks. Having just bought a bottle of apricot brandy, the Culross seemed like a a drink to try.
I initially tried the CocktailDB recipe listed by Chuck Taggart, which he seemed happy with. I found it a tad too sweet. I think I was mostly held back by the fact that the only apricot brandy I’ve found so far here in the Washington state liquor stores on the Eastside is DeKuypers. Also, I used Mount Gay Eclipse rum, not having any white rum on hand, which may be a little too assertive for the balance.
The Culross Cocktail (Cocktail DB variation)
1 ounce Lillet blanc.
1 ounce rum. (Mount Gay Eclipse)
1 ounce apricot brandy
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
It was drinkable, but not something I’d make again. I gave my trusted and far more cocktailian cohort, Bryan, a taste, and he had basically the same opinion.
Chuck’s post mentioned having found another variation he might try, so I gave it a shot:
The Culross Cocktail (via Chuck Taggart on eGullet)
2 oz rum (Mount gay eclipse)
1/2 oz Lillet blanc
1/2 oz apricot brandy
1/4 oz fresh lemon juice
As I suspected, the Mount Gay utterly overpowered this. The initial mix was nigh undrinkable. so I poured it back into the mixing glass, poured in another 1/2 oz of Lillet, shook a bit more, and tasted again. Better…but still not special. The rum was still too dominant and it needed, ironically, some sweetness.
I didn’t want to make the same mistake of letting the apricot brandy dominate. I reshook the drink with 1/2 oz of Grand Marnier, and tasted…and it tasted good. A little watered down. OK, a lot watered down, from three shakes. But it was tasty. It had a nice body and that broad range of flavors i was looking for. We sipped the the new drink, pondered names, and decided I should make some more. Bryan initially liked the the level of water in the first drink, but i suspected with less it would be brighter and better. The second round proved me out.
Bryan suggested the name – looking for some tie among Scotland (having started with the Culross), the English Navy (rum) and France (most the rest of the ingredients), he came up with the:
Bon Homme Richard
2 oz rum (Mount Gay Eclipse)
1 oz Lillet blanc
1/2 oz apricot brandy
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
1/4 oz lemon juice
next variation is, of course, to try this with a proper apricot brandy!