Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cocktail Wednesdays: The Trafalgar

The Trafalgar

Tonight, it was between the Sling, which sounded incredibly unexciting thanks to the origin story of the Cocktail, and something a bit more unusual. We decided to try the Trafalgar, which is a 12 Bottle Bar original, not a traditional cocktail. It really stood out because of the float of red wine on top.

The drink is an homage to Admiral Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar, where the innovative English naval tactics and the superior seamanship of their crews allowed them to best a combined French and Spanish navy of many more ships. The drink has rum, cognac, and orange liqueur, representing each of the three nationalities.

The Trafalgar

1.5 oz Rum
1.5 oz Cognac
0.5 oz Orange Liqueur
0.5 oz Lime Juice
0.5 oz Simple Syrup
0.5 oz Red Wine (Shiraz recommended, we used Merlot because we had it on hand)

Combine all ingredients but wine in a mixing glass.
Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass.
Float red wine on top.
Garnish with lime wheel.

We didn't have any simple syrup this evening, so we took the opportunity to make some. It is quite easy, and very similar to making runny honey. It's really just equal parts sugar and water heated until the sugar dissolves and remains in suspension.

Simple Syrup

1 cup Sugar
1 cup Water

In a small saucepan combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool.

Given that we only have champagne flutes, not coupes, and that I broke our cocktail glasses, we were forced to serve this one in a wine glass. Floating the wine was more difficult because of this, but Scott ended up successfully using the tested method of creating a double layer drink, like a Black and Tan -- pouring over a spoon. The effect is a nice reference to a "drop of Nelson's blood", though I suppose the rum serves that purpose as well. Just take a look at that lovely layer of red.

The Trafalgar

I also skipped the lime wedge, since the lime I had on hand was, shall we say, past its prime. It was juiced over our asparagus for dinner, but the rind was far too tough for cutting slices.

The verdict: A nice drink. I agree with the characterization of this as being like a tart sangria in taste. It does, of course, pack more of a wallop. The orange liquor, Grand Marinier in this case, provides the fruitiness, while the brandy and the wine bring in the grape base.

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