The Grand Street

We had some friends over yesterday afternoon (U know who U R! Luv U lots! Stay as sweet as U R! SIT!) to do some cocktailing, so I wanted to start this week with the drink that ran away from the pack, the hands-down favorite, the one cocktail to rule them all!

How freaking good am I talking? What Stephanie said: "I would wear this as perfume." Michelle: "This is the Most. Intriguing. Cocktail. I have ever tasted." And then more Michelle: "I would order a second one of these just so I could spend more time with it."

To mention ordering it is apropos, as you can do just that at Death & Co. Have I said yet that I try to swipe ask for a menu to take home every time I go there? I'm hoping to work my way through the latest copy I've got, which dates back to the fall. For my second attempt at that endeavor, I chose the Grand Street simply because I had all of its ingredients on hand, although those ingredients scared the poop out of me a little bit.

Specifically, the Cynar, which is an artichoke-flavored liqueur. At least, that's what I think I'm being told to think given that there's a picture of an artichoke on the label. To me, Cynar tastes nothing like artichoke and quite a bit like shoe polish. I lump it in with Fernet Branca as one of those alleged digestifs that I happen to believe would give me a stummyache if I sipped it straight. (We had Cynar at The Royale, where one guy used to order it mixed with Coke. I think he was somehow trying to show off.)

Combine that with the fact that I'm supposed to combine that with Luxardo -- a maraschino liqueur? geez Louise! -- and Punt e Mes, an extra-bitter Italian vermouth, and my big hurdle, obvs, was deciding on each ingredient's measurements; all I had to go on was the order in which they're listed on the menu. Luckily, I think I hit on some awfully good proportions on the first try, judging by audience reaction. (Ur so sweet guyz!)

The Grand Street

(Adapted from Death & Co.)

2 ounces Tanqueray gin

1/2 ounce Punt e Mes

1/4 ounce Cynar

1/4 ounce Luxardo

Grapefruit peel, for garnish

Combine all liquid ingredients in an ice-filled mixing glass. Stir vigorously for about 15 to 20 seconds. Strain into cocktail glass. Rub the outside of the grapefruit peel (i.e. not the pith side) around the rim of the glass before garnishing drink with it.

Tasting Notes:

Just to see what would happen, I made this drink a second time with Bulldog Gin instead of Tanqueray. Boo, Bulldog! Whereas the Tanqueray provided such a fragrant layer of botanicals that underscored the drink from start to finish, the Bulldog really added nothing. It rendered the Grand Street pedestrian and saccharine.

Death & Co., by the by, makes this with Beefeater Gin. I really do think gin is a liquor where a middle-shelf product -- Tanqueray, Beefeater, etc. -- can take you quite far.

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