Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Victoria & Albert

Victoria & Albert

While I was away, I missed the roundup of the May Mixology Monday recipes. Here it is, over at CocktailVirgin. As I predicted, my CuauhtĂ©moc was not the only Mexican-themed Manhattan recipe, though it was the only one that used tequila; Chris at ABarAbove created the rum-based Teotihuacan. Another one I'm looking forward to trying is Rated R Cocktails' Chinatown Moll. Well, to be honest, I'd try them all if I had the ingredients. I hope I have time to come up with something for MXMO XCVII, because I love the idea of working with local ingredients.

Today's recipe is one of my mom's favorite cocktails. My parents live near a location of New Orleans' wonderful Martin Wine Cellar, and periodically come home from tastings or shopping trips with cocktail recipes. My mom made this one and was instantly wowed. And I can see why. It's bright, floral, fragrant, and just the tiniest bit bitter. It's a lovely cocktail.

Victoria & Albert

The original recipe called for only 1 oz. of grapefruit juice, but I felt the drink was too sweet and unbalanced. Increasing it to 1 1/2 really helped, in my opinion. This is also only the second vodka cocktail I've featured on this blog; I already mentioned that I'm not really a big fan of vodka in general. Even as I drank my Victoria & Albert, I couldn't help but wonder what it would taste like with some gin instead.

So, vodka lovers... can you recommend a vodka and/or a cocktail that might change my mind?

Queen Victoria & Prince Albert
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on their wedding day.

History: This recipe comes from a Square One vodka handout titled "Cocktails for Italian Cuisine," and doesn't appear to exist anywhere else. There's a version of the handout on the Square One website, but it doesn't have the Victoria & Albert on it.

The namesake for the drink is clearly the "it" couple of the 1840's and 50's, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. They had a very romantic relationship, and Victoria was heartbroken when Albert died of typhoid fever at age 42, after 21 years of marriage. Victoria wore black for the rest of her long life, and she had the servants lay out Albert's clothes for the next day every evening until she died. Their relationship is depicted in the recent movie The Young Victoria, with Emily Blunt as the queen and Rupert Friend as Prince Albert. Perhaps this is a fitting inspiration for a cocktail that is very sweet, with just a touch of bitterness at the end.

Victoria & Albert

2 oz. vodka
1 1/2 oz. grapefruit juice
1/2 oz. Aperol
1/2 oz. simple syrup (or less)
4 basil leaves

Put basil leaves at the bottom of a shaker and muddle until bruised. Add remaining ingredients and ice. Shake until very cold. Double-strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with a grapefruit twist and a basil leaf.

Recipe adapted from Square One Vodka.

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