Chunnel

3/4 oz Gin <Wire Works>
3/4 oz St. Germain
3/4 oz Grand Marnier
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 barspoon Absinthe for rinsing

Rinse empty cocktail glass with absinthe. Combine rest of ingredients in a shaker and shake with ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass, garnish with lemon twist


Recently I restocked my bar with a bottle of Grand Marnier.  It’s been quite some time since it last sat amongst the other liqueurs, so I’ve been going back through my recipes to see how I utilized it in the past.  The Chunnel spoke to me this week for a few reasons.

First, it’s an equal parts cocktail (not counting the absinthe rinse), which I always find intriguing.  There is something about four big flavors all living happily in one glass, each one complimenting the next.  Second, I employed an absinthe rinse.

Absinthe is a tricky liqueur for me, as it’s only been the last few years that I’ve come around to the anise/black licorice flavors in my food and drink (Sazeracs certainly played a role in that development).  A rinse is simply a small amount of liquid (1/8 oz or about one bar spoon), thrown in an empty glass and then swirled around before being dumped out.  At this point, the rest of the combined ingredients are added.  This technique let’s the aromas of absinthe come through without the flavors overpowering the rest of the drink.

The rest of those flavors start with gin.  In this case I used Wire Works from Grand Ten Distilling.  As an aside, Boston has a pretty solid local spirits game.  Anyway, I like this gin becuase it’s not overly junipery, so it works well in an equal parts application.  There are some citrus notes that play nice with the lemon and Grand Marnier.  St. Germain adds a bit of body, while also keeping the tartness in check.  It’s a very approachable drink with plenty going on after each sip.  And while things get a little anise-y on the nose, mellow warm orange also comes through from the Grand Marnier that creates a nice little olfactory party.

Bonus points for anyone who picked up on the Seinfeld reference for the name.  When I first made this drink a few years ago, I used a classic London Dry gin.  Between that and the two French liquers, I had the endpoints of the massive underwater infrastructure project connecting the two countries.  Given how much Seinfeld I watched, there was a good chance I had just seen this episode when this drink was born, so the name was basically a no brainer.  Now that I think of it, I may have to do a whole series of drinks named after fake movies from Seinfeld.

* Of course I wrote most of this post yesterday, before I heard some more rough news from the music world that Prince had died.  Needless to say, I’ll be busting out my bottle of Creme de Violette to come up with a drink to honor his Purple Majesty.  In the meantime, basque in the glory that is a Prince guitar solo, in all its blitzkrieg glory.  Shit gets real around the 3:20 mark.

 

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