This cocktail came from the GQ 25 Best Cocktail Bars in America. The description of this drink, made by Patterson House (#12), intrigued me both because I love Bulleit bourbon and because it would give me a chance to buy a new liqueur, St. Germain.
St. Germain is an elderflower liqueur. It has a very fruity sweetness, almost like an intense dessert wine with a little citrus, peach and pear. They have a great website with an amusing description of their process, which purportedly involves picking wild elderflowers high in the Alps, and riding them down to market on special bikes. Love it. I managed to find a recipe for Vincent’s Ruin online:
1 oz absinthe
2 oz Bulleit bourbon
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz simple syrup
5 drops Regan’s Orange Bitters
1. Pour absinthe into rocks glass. Swirl to coat inside, then discard. Fill glass with ice. 2. Combine remaining ingredients in ice filled shaker. Shake and strain into glass. 3. Garnish with lemon peel
I’ll admit, the idea of springing for an expensive bottle of absinthe just for a rinse didn’t excite me. So I cut a corner here and used Hiram Walker Anisette Liqueur. Pastis would work just fine here as well. It should be substantially similar in flavor, especially for just a rinse.
The drink itself was delicious. It reminded me of a more complex version of a whiskey sour. The sweetness of the St. Germain pairs really well with the bourbon, and the use of lemon juice and lemon peel makes it a very aromatic drink as well. I think the next time I make this I might back off the lemon a little to let the whiskey come through a bit more, but that probably just has to do with my personal preference (I like to taste my whiskey).
This is definitely a do again, and I am excited about trying more drinks with St. Germain.