7 Aug 20108:17 pm
Given this back and forth between Paul's and Robert's version of the drink I decided to conduct a little experiment. I made both versions and compared them. The differences were fairly obvious and without going into long and detailed taste profile descriptions, let me say that Robert's is dominated by the sweetness of the cointreau and the bitterness of the campari, while Paul's is dominated by the sourness from the lemon. If we're seeking a well balanced drink, then interestingly enough, reducing the lemon in Paul's version or reducing the cointreau and campari in Robert's lead's to roughly the same recipe. Namely equal parts cointreau, campari, and lemon juice, with some amount of gin (I've found that the flavour of the gin is overpowered by the strong flavours of the other ingredients and so i'd say the relative amount of gin is unimportant). This post is getting rather long so let me quickly say that after tasting a 3, 1, 1, 1 recipe (order as in Robert's recipe above) I found that the drink either needed more cointreau or less campari. So for increasing cointreau, ie a recipe of 3, 2, 1, 1, I found the drink to be dual spirited. Namely there is a pronounced sweet start to the drink followed by an equally intense transition to bitterness courtesy of the campari. If instead we decrease the campari we'd end up with a recipe of 3, 2, 1, 2 and this recipe has a slightly different taste. Namely, although it is still sweet to start and bitter in the finish, the transition is much less drastic. This is a drink that flows smoothly through varying facies. And as you will notice it is the lemon juice that controls this flow, an ingredient that is content to stay in the background and yet plays such a dominate role in how this cocktail is interpreted.
Overall I think both of these last two drinks are good, and choosing between the two will depend entirely on personal preference; whether one likes the sudden and obvious transition from sweet to bitter as in the former recipe or the smoother and more relaxed blending of flavours from the former. And herein is the wonderful thing about the cocktail: YOU get to decide.
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