Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Squid Mixes: Pomme Royale

A pomme royale combines calvados, lemon juice, Cointreau, simple syrup and sparkling wine with a sugared rim and a lemon twist garnish.  I got my recipe from Drinking French by David Lebovitz.  "Fancy!" was my wife's initial reaction.

The lemon dominates the flavor but there's enough of the calva for an appreciated apple hint.  One could probably do without the sugared rim but I thought the extra sugar was nice.  Our coupe glasses were a nice size for the sugaring and there was plenty left over for a second round.  Six ingredients is a lot (the lemon counts as one, a welcome multi-tasker), especially with something less shelf-stable like sparkling wine.  But overall, the pomme royale is a pleasant beverage and worthy of the effort.

Bitters Battles: Angostura vs. Orange

At long last, we come to the battle which I have expected would make the biggest difference in a Manhattan: the bitters.  It is because of our preferred house cocktail that I grew to love Angostura bitters in the first place, its herbal curves pairing so elegantly with the sharp rye.  In truth, I have a hard time imagining the drink without Angostura.  However, the rules - in as far as there are rules for cocktails - allow for a substitution of either orange or Peychaud's bitters.  So, it's at least worth trying.

In a head-to-head battle, we both chose the Angostura.  It is, quite simply, a stronger flavor and I want my bitters to have a voice.  The orange aroma was a welcome benefit of the challenger and, for another drinker, the relatively unobtrusive flavor could be seen as an advantage.  But for us, it's a clear decision.

Winner: Angostura



  1. I'll be putting up, when I have them, my cocktail recipes on Sundays. I -should- have one up this Sunday. If I can get it finished before I head out of town on Friday.