Love Potions no. 9

by Heather Sperling
January 2008

If you could mix a potion that would make your love swell with passion and your body blaze like firewater…that would make your companions spontaneously break out into doo-wop verses …that would make a 90’s-era Sandra Bullock fall in love with you…wouldn’t you do it?

We can’t make any guarantees, but this is Love Potions no.9, and as you’d expect, this year’s drinks are appropriately sexy, not in an overt Passion Martini-type way, but rather in their clever and surprising combinations. They woo with complex flavor profiles, and with spirits that have gained newfound versatility on cocktail menus – bourbon, gin, vermouth, and Cognac, to name a few. » more



Marion Barry Flip

Mixologist Jonny Raglin of Absinthe – San Francisco, CA

The Carpetbagger
Mixologist Charles Hardwick of The Blue Owl – New York, NY

Asian Poire
Mixologist Justin Beam of Craft – Dallas

Blood Orange Champagne Cocktail
Mixologist Ame Brewster of Café Boulud – Palm Beach, FL

Jonny Raglin’s Marion Barry Flip is a delicate, frothy concoction layering lemon, rosemary and strawberry over smooth Plymouth gin. Charles Hardwick’s Carpetbagger combines Cointreau and Maker's Mark for a dry, orange- and caramel-toned drink with a bite from Fee Brother’s orange bitters and Cinzano. Justin Beam balances sweet and tart with Asian pear, Meyer lemon and ginger in his Asian Poire, and Ame Brewster gives depth (and color) to her Champagne cocktail with Cognac and blood orange bitters.

Her bitter aperitif aside, Brewster is playing with sweet concoctions this holiday, using black cherry vodka (to create a “chocolate-covered cherry”) and Essence Rosewater, which she says is less concentrated than Middle Eastern rosewater, with a more balanced quality. Her cocktail list at Café Boulud in Palm Beach mirrors the savory menu, with cocktails listed by inspiration (“la tradition,” “la saison,” etc); the V-Day cocktails will be listed on a special menu insert. The restaurant is doing a pre fixe menu for the night, and Brewster expects guests to stop by her bar both before and after dinner.

So give ‘em what they want, whether single or in pairs – sexy drinks, clever combinations, a reason to indulge, and maybe…get lucky.  

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   Published: January 2008