Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mae West: Bottoms Up

"Inspired by MAE WEST, I created a cocktail containing ample aphrodisiacs," states LeNell Smothers, "goji, pomegranate, cayenne, and cocoa." Let's commemorate Valentine's Day the Mae way — — with a goodly portion of oral pleasure.
• • Here's what Alabama-born Mistress of Mixology LeNell Smothers has to say: Mae supposedly was not a big drinker, but you can find her lapping it up in the movie "Night After Night." With this in mind, I decided to make a fizz. A fizz always includes something bubbly, and when that bubbly is Champagne, it becomes a "diamond fizz."
• • Diamond Lil gets Diamond Fizz • •
• • The common ingredients in a fizz are citrus juice, a sweetener, a sparkling ingredient (like soda or Champagne) and a spirit. Fizzes often contain egg, but they don't have to. A "silver fizz" includes egg white. A "gold fizz" includes the yolk. I decided to make a "royal fizz," with the addition of the whole egg.
• • For a touch of sweetness, I added Pama pomegranate liqueur, since pomegranates were the fruit of Aphrodite. Either pink or yellow grapefruit work, as long as the juice is freshly squeezed. Besides being one of my favorites, Four Roses Single Barrel 100-proof bourbon seemed fortified enough for a strong-willed woman like Mae, while maintaining a touch of romance with its rose emblem.
• • I chose a saucer for this cocktail instead of a tall glass or a flute. The many legends of the Champagne saucer being fashioned after various women's breasts add to the romance of this drink. To go along with the diamond reference, I added a sugared rim for a little sparkle and tingle. Like Mae, I'm no angel.
• • • • Mae West Royal Diamond Fizz [Serves two] • • • •
• • 2 oz Goji-Infused Bourbon*
• • ½ oz Pama pomegranate liqueur
• • 1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
• • 1 whole egg
• • Brut Champagne
• • Hot sugar**
• • Chill two saucer glasses. Shake all ingredients, except Champagne and hot sugar, to emulsify. Add ice and shake hard, at least 30 seconds. To rim the glass with sugar, take a slice of grapefruit and moisten the outside of the glass. Dip half the rim into the hot sugar. Pour cocktail into glass. Top with Champagne to make a foamy head right up to the rim of the glass. Garnish with two Goji berries left over from the infused bourbon. Put them on a toothpick to the side of the glass, shaping them like two lips.
• • *Macerate 4 ounces of dried goji berries in a 750ml Four Roses Single Barrel 100 proof Bourbon bottle. Let sit overnight, at least. Strain the leftover liquid through a gold coffee filter.
• • **Hot sugar is made of 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper and a pinch of unsweetened cocoa.
• • • • Alabama-born LeNell Smothers defines herself first and foremost as a bartender, but she's been called many things — — most recently, the proprietress of Casa Cóctel with partner Demián Camacho Santa Ana. She's owned her own whiskey label, called Red Hook Rye, and has been recognized by her home state as an honorary Colonel. Other interests include gin, sin, and men.
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