Does this look like a gin drink to you? It didn't to me, either, but looks are deceiving with this one.
This was my first experience with buckwheat honey (call me a Philistine; I had no idea the spectrum of honey flavor profiles that exist), and I'm sold. I'm not generally a fan of the limp-wristed effect that "regular" honey (made mostly from clover flowers) has on cocktails, but honey made from buckwheat blew me away.
It's responsible for both the dark color of this drink, but also a rich and earthy depth of flavor that I'm not used to. Benèdictine and Cardamaro -- a fortified wine made with hints of artichoke -- add layer upon layer, while dry gin adds a lightness of body, and lemony/basily verbena adds brightness.
It all adds up to a wild ride for your tastebuds, all while being very accessible to cocktail newbies.
This cocktail drops on Red Cow's new fall menu on Wednesday, at all three of their locations.
- 1 ½ oz Gordon's London Dry gin
- ¾ oz honey-verbena syrup *
- ½ oz Cardamaro amaro
- ½ oz fresh lemon juice
- 1 bar spoon Benèdictine
* To make honey-verbena syrup:
Heat 10 oz buckwheat honey and 1 tsp kosher salt in 5 oz of hot water, stirring until salt dissolves.
Meanwhile, blanch ½ oz of lemon verbena leaves for 15 seconds in boiling water, and then immediately plunge them into an ice bath to chill.
Puree leaves and syrup together in a blender on high; strain through a fine-mesh strainer (or cheesecloth), and use or store.
Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin, and shake over ice. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a single fresh lemon verbena leaf.
Red Cow has three locations in the Twin Cities -- North Loop Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Edina. A full cocktail menu is available at all three locations.
(612) 767-4411 (Edina Location)