Thursday, June 2, 2011

Gio's Julep

Right off the bat I found that the Green Gate Garden peppermint and Fernet Branca were indeed a very good match.  The menthol found in each made them partners.  The problem, however, is that while I like Fernet hot and out of any vessel clean or dirty...others find it kind of cloying and strong.  I don't really make drinks for myself but rather the nice people that come in and pay for them.  You can get clientele that never drink gin to pledge allegiance to the juniper plant (and the Queen of England for that matter) if you make a gin cocktail that's balanced.  Such is the case with every spirit outside of Rumple Minze.  Is Rumple Minze one word or two?  I am glad I don't know the answer.   Anyway,  I began to try to balance the Fernet and mint with other ingredients.  Fortunately, I have no shortage of taste testers and sampling my "experiments" has a very positive effect on my staff's disposition.  Especially, a certain hostess who's critiques of good, better, and best help quite a bit.  In the end sweet and spicy ginger beer and the late addition of Carpano Antica were the key(s).  So for your face I present Gio's Julep....

Muddled Green Gate Garden Peppermint
Crushed Ice
Fernet Branca
Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
Lemon Juice
Ginger Beer
Peppermint to Garnish

The name is short for Giovanni and hints at this libation's Italian roots.  This cocktail is also in honor of a food runner from The Gage named Gio who is actually not Italian at all and calls me Presidente Clinton.  I gave him Fernet one night for his shift drink and he proclaimed it to be..."good". 

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