Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Squid Mixes: Bolero
A Bolero combines light rum, Calvados, sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters over ice. I got my recipe from the New York Bartender's Guide. I preferred it to last week's drink, though it still wasn't as appley as I wanted it to be.
Calvados ain't cheap. If I'm putting it in a drink, I want to taste it. I wondered if balance was the issue. Maybe less rum and more Calvados? Or maybe I should try the Calvados on its own. So I did.
In truth, it's really not so appley, at least not what I would have expected. Maybe Normandy apples taste different from their North American counterparts - likely, I suppose. It mostly tastes like a brandy in that the sugar predominates. It might be interesting to try it side by side with Cognac to note the differences.
As long as we're on the subject of Bolero, you really should watch the following if you haven't yet. Julliard students, faculty and alumni collaborated for an amazing, socially-distanced performance of Ravel's masterpiece:
Vermouth Battles: Boissiere vs. Cinzano
Cinzano is an Italian product, originally produced in Turin dating back to 1757. It was the favored vermouth of the famed lothario Casanova. Today, Cinzano is owned by Gruppo Campari, based in Milan. In our final battle, the old war horse takes on our reigning champion, Boissiere.
We both preferred the Boissiere in the Manhattan test. In my opinion, it interfered less with the other ingredients. That said, the Cinzano was quite pleasant, providing a fuller mouth-feel. More sugar, perhaps? I'm not sad to have a bottle around for a while.
Winner and Champion: Boissiere
Next up: Bitters Battles