Some times, you need to do the thing for the sheer beauty of it. Not because it has any value to society. Not because someone is paying you to do it. Not because it would make your fourth grade teacher proud, even though I do hope Mrs. Hall is pleased. Not for duty or honor or any sense of obligation, but simply because you want to see that beauty exist in the world. So, won’t you please join me now as we stand and make the Parisian Daiquiri.
This is a simple drink, so there is not too much to say. It is an obvious riff on the Classic Daiquiri, but with the addition of St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur. If you have not tried it, go get a bottle now. Seriously. St. Germain is often referred to as “bartender’s ketchup” or the “barkeep’s band-aid” for its versatility in elevating drinks. You’d be surprised how often 1/2 an ounce of elderflower liqueur is the “secret ingredient” in that new hot cocktail. Plus it has one of the most beautiful bottles you can put on your back bar, with it’s exquisite art deco inspired curves. It looks like something the lost generation would have been sipping in a quiet bar near the Seine, but it was actually created in 2007. I discovered it shortly after that in a speakeasy off Pioneer Square in Seattle, in one of the most exquisite gin & tonics I had ever enjoyed. Since then it has been a major player in my home bar.
Grab your tins and pop in 1 1/2 ounces of light rum, I went with Cruzan; 3/4 of an ounce of St. Germain, 3/4 of an ounce of fresh squeezed lime juice, 1/4 ounce of simple syrup and 2 drops of 18-21 Havana & Hide Bitters. Add ice and give it a good shake to “A World Without Heroes” from KISS’ almost entirely forgettable album “Music from “The Elder”” with a lyrical assist from Lou Reed. If you are feeling really crazy you can go for Cher’s cover version, with backing vocals by Richard Marx, allegedly. When well chilled, and I mean really cold, double strain into a fine Parisian coupe and garnish with a float of dehydrated rose petals.
Isn’t that a feast for the senses? Beautiful, fragrant and so very tasty. Seriously, St. Germain elevates most any basic cocktail you add it to. It is a little sweet, herbal, with citrus notes and pear and honeysuckle. It is just lovely and plays so well in this format. Not overpowering, but bringing depth to the basic daq format, which, honestly, is nearly perfect already. This one is wonderful, truly. Don’t miss out on those rose petals either. Their scent helps pick up the floral notes in the drink and really add something to the experience. Sure they are pretty to look at, but the character they bring to the party is why we invited them.
This drink truly is a thing of beauty, far more than my slipshod photography could capture. The lightly golden tone shimmering through the facets of the cut glass. Those rose petals slowly swirling in the breeze from the kitchen fan. It is just wonderful all the way around. I did not feel good, did not want to make a drink and certainly did not want to drink one. Taking the time to create something beautiful made me feel better. It’s not much, but it is my attempt to make the universe a slightly nicer place tonight. Which is a noble goal. As Tom Robbins said of something entirely different, “When we succeed, we raise the exhilaration content of the universe. We even raise it a little bit when we fail.” So here’s to you and leaving things a little more beautiful than when you found them. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.