Thursday, August 12, 2021

New Cocktails: Artemisia

I started out once again paging through The Art of the Shim for something on the lighter side. My first stop was the Chrysanthemum, originally from the Savoy Cocktail Book. The version in Shim is quite a bit drier at 8:1 vermouth:Bénédictine and while rather good, I felt like it was lacking something. My initial thought was "This needs some gin" and I proceeded to make another with a full ounce of gin and a bit more Bénédictine. While that was closer to the mark, the gin was a little too assertive and was throwing the drink out of balance. The third time was the charm and scaling the gin back made it just right.


2 oz dry vermouth
0.75 oz gin
0.5 oz Bénédictine
3 dashes of absinthe/pastis

Combine all ingredients, stir with ice for fifteen seconds, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

The aromas are dominated by the anise from the Herbsaint, alongside some rounded herbal notes from the Bénédictine. The sip opens with honey sweetness, quickly fading into herbal/pine bitterness from the Bénédictine and gin, there's a burst of something fruity, then sliding towards more tart dryness from the vermouth. The finish is long and driven by the vermouth, with herbal accents.

Now this hits the spot. While there were good things about the original, they really depended on the quality and complexity of the dry vermouth. Something unidimensional just wasn't going to give a particularly engaging drink. But the added depth from more Bénédictine and a solid dose of gin elevates this into something I can really get behind. 

Looking back at what's come before, I'm a little surprised that I haven't seen these proportions elsewhere. It basically inverts the proportions of the Poet's Dream and probably has a balance somewhere around the Guion. But I'll keep beating my drum for reverse proportion cocktails, even if, as with this drink, they're not necessarily any less potent than their more spirit-forward relatives.

No comments:

Post a Comment