DOTW: Mistral Mauve

Posted by Anita on 02.01.08 6:54 AM

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**My friend Sam brought us the most fabulous hostess gift: A vintage copy of Robert Vermiere’s Cocktails – How to Mix Them. It’s a little pocket-sized gem of a book, best known as one of the first sources for the Sidecar. (It’s possible Harry MacElhone’s ABCs of Mixing Cocktails beat Vermiere to the punch, but both sport a 1922 publication date so I’m content to call it a draw.)

I spent a happy afternoon flipping through the book’s age-darkened pages, amusing myself by deciphering the spidery notes in its margins scribbled by some long-ago drinker. It’s a treasure trove of possibilities.

Alas, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

I’ve had no desire whatsoever to experiment, much less to imbibe. Like nearly everyone else in my area code, I’ve been slammed by the bug that doctors are calling the Super Cold. I’ll spare you the litany of disgusting symptoms and secondary infections, but I feel compelled to brag that I made a nurse say “Eeeww!”

After a trip to the emergency room and enough prescriptions to supply a small pharmacy, I’m finally back among the living. I even managed to have a drink or two last night. But frankly, the idea of tinkering with proportions or doing a lot of in-depth historical research is still making me a little woozy. Luckily, there were enough great bubbly-based drinks flowing at the Cockails and Canapes party that I won’t have to leave you in the lurch this week. Here’s one of my favorites:

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved** 20px.jpg

Le Mistral Mauve
1/2oz to 1oz creme de violette
1/2oz rosemary-infused simple syrup, or to taste
Brut Champagne or other dry sparkling wine

Measure the violette and rosemary syrup into a Champagne flute. Top with a dry bubbly, and garnish with a blossoming herb. (We used rosemary, but any pretty sprig will do.)

To make rosemary syrup, measure equal parts water and sugar into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, and stir occasionally until sugar is completely dissolved. Add a large bunch of rosemary to the pan, and remove from the heat. Allow the rosemary to steep in the syrup until its flavor is very pronounced. Remove the rosemary, and strain the syrup through a fine sieve (or a coffee filter, if you want to be fancy).

I usually add a fresh sprig of rosemary to the syrup bottle; it reminds me what’s inside, and has the side effect of looking rather charming. Flavored syrup keeps in the refrigerator for at least a week. Other drinks that use rosemary syrup include the Gin-Gin Cooler and the Rosemary Five; It’s also lovely in sparkling water as a homemade soda.

EDITED TO ADD: If you can’t find creme violette in your area, Monin makes a lovely non-alcoholic violet syrup that you can use in its place. Lots of restaurant supply stores sell these syrups, or you can buy them on Amazon.

Drink of the Week, drinks, recipes, wine & bubbly



Comment by sam

oh no – anita – i am sorry. i have been sick too – off work twice this week – but just beginning to start to feel better. I haven’t been able to drink for a whole week either (apart from a hot toddy but made with meyer lemon and amaretto every night before bed). We had a really nice bottle of wine i opened the day before I got sick and the second half has sat on the counter forlornly ever since, I just couldn’t face drinking it. I hope you will be well enough to enjoy your book more pro-actively soon.

Posted on 02.01.08 at 8:09AM

Comment by AppetiteforChina

Winter’s a tough season, but it’s a bit easier with alcohol by your side. ;)
Hope you feel better!

Posted on 02.01.08 at 8:54AM

Comment by Terry B

This sounds wonderfully ethereal! And I love the use of rosemary with something sweet. It’s at the heart of a simple Rosemary Apricots dessert I make.

Posted on 02.01.08 at 11:59AM

Comment by Anita

Sam: This cold season is the worst! Hope you’re on the mend soon. And yes, I am really looking forward to digging into the book!

A4C: Usually, I agree with you. But this one was so bad, even the usual medicinal doses didn’t seem appealing. Ugh! Thanks for the get-well wishes.

Terry: I agree — I’m a big fan of savory-sweet combos in drinks, especially… sage is another herb that plays so well with cocktails.

Posted on 02.01.08 at 12:02PM

Comment by Cindy

I was about to turn off my laptop but that picture drew my attention,
It’s so pretty.

Posted on 02.02.08 at 11:32AM

Comment by Tartelette

I am so sorry to hear you have been so sick. Hope you feel 100% soon! This cocktail is gorgeous and named after the wind from my region of France (and the restaurant I used to work for). I have to add that I made my mother a St Germain Champagne Cocktail when she got in last Monday and she loved it!

Posted on 02.03.08 at 8:14PM

Comment by Lauren

Oooh, Anita. I hope you are feeling better soon.

Posted on 02.04.08 at 11:21AM

Comment by Denise

This is going on my “to try” list, next time we do a champagne cocktail bar. We did one for Christmas 07, and planned to do one for Christmas 08 (until Christmas got snowed out, that is).

Such an easy idea, and everyone loved it. Next time I think we’ll add some bitters and garnishes, like you did.

Your photographs are gorgeous as always!

Posted on 01.29.09 at 2:05PM

Comment by Erin

Thanks for Rosemary syrup recipe. Made it with all the left over watermelons from the 4th of July for Rosemary-Watermelon Margaritas. Yum.

Posted on 07.05.09 at 2:03PM

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