Three summers ago, Chris and I spent two beautiful weeks in Spain and France. We stayed in a little apartment on the outskirts of Montmartre during the last leg of our trip, and fell in love with that neighborhood. It’s everything you think Paris will be if you’ve watched Amelie over and over again: we had cocktails at the art nouveau-style Lux Bar on Rue Lepic, an epic dinner of perfectly roast chicken (which the French do better than anyone else), at Le Coq Rico were serenaded by an accordion player over post-dinner espresso drinks, and walked hand in hand down stepped hills that afforded a cinematic view of Le Moulin Rouge.
This summer has been very Brooklyn-centric. Today, we got nostalgic and decided to try this Montmartre cocktail. Here’s the recipe as written:
- 1 1/4 oz. Old Mr. Boston Dry Gin
- 1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth
- 1/2 oz. Triple Sec
Stir well with cracked ice and strain into 3 oz. cocktail glass. Serve with a cherry.
Notes on prep: If you’ve been following this blog, you know we are usually proponents of inexpensive liquors in cocktails. We used Seagram’s gin, Martini & Rossi Vermouth, and Llords Triple Sec. The only artisanal Brooklyn touch were our homemade maraschino cherries. I stirred, Chris cracked ice, and we used our usual old-fashioned glasses.
Liz’s Take: I’m trying to get transported to Montmartre by this drink. The golden hue would certainly complement the Lux Bar, with its dark wood and gold accents. However, our usual liquor philosophy doesn’t quite cut it in this drink. In a cocktail that’s very booze forward, it’s best to have good booze. When you’re mixing in tonic, lemonade, or whatever, the booze gets muted, so it’s not worth it. In this cocktail, an herb-y Hendricks (or at least a clean, smooth Plymouth or Tanqueray) would have been preferable. I haven’t had a good triple sec in some time, but I’m guessing a more sophisticated orange flavor (Cointreau?) would also improve this drink. This drink is fine– it reminds me a little of a martini, a little of a margarita– but it’s not going to transport me back to Rue Lepic, 2015.
TL; DR: Don’t be a cheapo if you’re making a Montmartre cocktail.
Chris’s Take: I’d say pick one good ingredient with a booze heavy drink like this. It’ll usually do the trick. Honestly, wish I had something more to say about this drink, but I’ll probably forget about it after watching Jeopardy.
Ingredient Accessibility: Easy
Price: With our cheap booze, cheap! (Seagram’s is about $25 for a giant bottle, Llord’s is less than $10, Sweet Vermouth is around $15) A nice bottle of Hendricks will run you about twice as much; a Tanqueray or Bombay is a good middle ground
Taste: Nose tinglingly astringent (from the gin/vermouth), with a slightly fruity undernote (triple sec)
Final Verdict: Liz would order this at a Frenchy bar, one that has lots of dark wood and vaulted ceilings and chipped mirrors and serves their wine in little glass cups, if they used a decent gin as a base. At the same bar, Chris would probably just order a Negroni.