This drink was created in an attempt to mimic the Three Faces cocktail. Not having any Galliano (despite its inclusion in Imbibe's 20 Most Influential Cocktails of the Century piece I have yet to make a Harvey Wallbanger), I decided to improvise.
1.5 oz light rum
0.5 oz Bénédictine
0.5 oz Campari
3 drops vanilla extract
0.5 tsp Herbsaint
Combine all ingredients, stir with ice for 15 seconds, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with a splash of soda.
The nose leans towards the Herbsaint, made sweeter by the Bénédictine and vanilla extract. The sip begins sweetly with vanilla, honey, and a hint of herbs and bitter orange. Moving further back, the herbs grow in intensity along with the Herbsaint's anise, becoming bitter along with the Campari towards the finish. The finish is smooth, transitioning into bittersweet.
Caught between the Scylla of Bénédictine and Charybdis of Campari, the rum ends up acting more as a bit player. However, using Westerhall Plantation rum does add a bit of grassiness to the herbal notes. The drink could easily become too sweet, but the Campari keeps everything in check, the bitter finish leaving you wanting more. It's also possible to make it a bit snappier with more soda water, as the carbonic acid should reduce the sweetness. Overall it's a great slow sipper, with the sweetness inviting you in, but the bitterness cleansing the palate after each swallow.