Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Lobby Cocktail


I got this fun and easy recipe off of Kindred Cocktails, a website similar to mine with a large cocktail recipe database. If you haven't noticed, lately I've been trolling the internet looking for modern recipes or twists on classics that I've not tried yet. There is a lot out there, but I've just about exhausted the classics and am looking for things to do with more unusual spirits. Today that was my homemade Mandarine Napoleon recipe.

So the Lobby cocktail seems to take its name from other hotel-themed cocktails like the Grand Hotel or Hotel Plaza. But really I found the experience of the Lobby Cocktail similar to the KGB, which is kirsch, gin and apricot brandy. It's that kind of heavy, all high-proof spirits experience that doesn't let up, or at least not at first, that this drink reminded me of. And it isn't surprising. Mandarine Napoleon is the only sweet spirit in here, like apricot brandy in the KGB, and that barely provides room for the other ingredients. Unlike other Hotel cocktails, there's no aromatized wine like sweet vermouth to thin out the high-proof stuff, so I recommend using wet ice or going with a splash of water in your mixing glass. 

Something else of note: this cocktail calls for Galliano (not pictured) and because I didn't have it, I couldn't put it in the photo. I do have a pretty reliable recipe to substitute for Galliano in a pinch. It wont do for Galliano drinks like the Harvey Wallbanger, but when all you need is a quarter of an ounce, then I suggest combining sweet 3 parts anisette (or anisette with a drop of sugar syrup) and 1 part vanilla vodka. This gets the herbal and vanilla notes of Galliano across when color and texture would otherwise be lost among other ingredients. For this cocktail, I used sweet Aguardiente as the anisette, not a pastis like Ricard or absinthe substitute. Those are playing a different ballgame than Galliano, and Aguardiente has the sweet herbal flavors (minus the vanilla) that I was looking for.

  • 2 oz. gin (Citadelle used)
  • 1/4 oz. Galliano (a mixture of 3 parts Aguardiente and 1 part vanilla vodka used)
  • 1/4 oz. Mandarine Napoleon
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • lemon zest twist

Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist lemon zest over the glass and drop it in. 

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