Thursday, November 02, 2006

Royalist Cocktail--the update.

Okay. Turns out that Nishla misread the recipe for The Royalist at CocktailDB. It's not 1.5 oz of gin it's 1.5 oz of dry vermouth that the recipe calls for. So, the Royalist is sort of a "reverse" Dry Manhattan Special instead of the unique concoction Nishla posted at eGullet.org. I managed to misread the recipe myself when I looked it up but I'm not embarassed or upset because Nishla's version appears to be a brand new cocktail.

I used the kick-ass search function at CocktailDB and checked a few other drink recipe sites and found nothing that resembles what Nishla and I thought was The Royalist. My search was hardly exhaustive so please be sure to pass along any gin + bourbon + Benedictine recipes you come across. I did find a few recipes with gin, whiskey and pastis. Pastis ain't Benedictine but it is an herbal liqueur so I think it's close enough for jazz. We can certainly consider these to be related to the (Not a) Royalist*:

Eau de Nil 1.5 oz gin, .5 oz rye or bourbon, .25 oz pastis, .25 oz grenadine
Bunny Hug 1:1:1 gin, rye or bourbon, pastis (1 oz of each)
Earthquake 1:1:1 gin, rye or bourbon, pastis (.75 oz of each)

Note that the Bunny Hug** and the Earthquake are the exact same drink. Each has a 1:1:1 ratio of the three ingredients. Only the size of the drink differs. My guess is that the Earthquake came about after a revolt by Bunny Hug lovers who got tired of taking crap from their friends and bartenders. Seriously, who coined the name Bunny Hug for this manly and potent potable? And why? Any way you slice it, knocking back a mixture of three full-strength boozes diluted with only a little water by stirring or shaking, well, it doesn't exactly conjure up thoughts of fuzzy little bunnies. Maybe if it had been created by a bartender at one of the old Playboy clubs I could understand calling it the Bunny Slap In Face.... Ba dump bump.

Absente, Herbsaint, Pernod, and Ricard are the most common pastises (sp?) but I'm not really up to speed on the pastis family. I know they're intended to be an absinthe substitute, that their primary flavor is anise and that a little pastis goes a long, long way. I have a bottle of Herbsaint but, if memory serves, I've only used it in Sazeracs and Corpse Reviver #2s. Both are Hall of Fame-level cocktails but neither requires more than a dash or so of pastis. In Europe pastis, pastis & water, and various pastis cocktails are fairly common aperitifs. I'm not sure that I want a nice cold glass of liquid licorice before dinner but you knock yer bad self out, Pierre.

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* I've left a post at eGullet asking Nishla what she wants to call her accidental creation. I'll post another update when she responds.

** Aha. It turns out that the Bunny Hug was named after a suggestive dance from the early part of the last century. Thanks to Andy and Erik at eGullet for the info and the link.

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