Taschen on Greene Street was the location for the launch of the new book- Fashion Designers A-Z. The store- brightly lit and pulsing with the energy that can only say NYC and Fashion Week, glowed with excitement. The book itself, a testament to all things lush, beautiful and unattainable, served as a visual juxtaposition to the living fashions who moved through the room, always on display. Events like this make me very thirsty. Not for the vague wines (Chardonnay or Cava served by gracious staff) but for the way that the living elements of the scene inspired my thirst.
As a rule I’m very fond of rum, especially Rhum Agricole from Martinique. During the colder time of the year, citrus is at the forefront of my palate. I cannot seem to get enough of it. Blood oranges are at their peak right now and I love to lightly sear them in a dry saute’ pan, let them cool- then juice them- releasing a perfume and spark that makes me salivate.
Perrier, you know- the pink grapefruit sparkling natural mineral water happens to work very well with grilled blood oranges. The spark of the bubbles rise through the thicker elements of rum and the grilled blood orange juice. If they had served a cocktail like this at the Taschen book launch, they would have had to restrain the crowds. They’d be ripping their clothes off and getting busy. I don’t have to say anything more!
Clement Rhum comes from the island of Martinique. In front of my right now I have a small glass filled 1/4 with the Creole Shrubb. But what is a Shrubb? A Shrubb is a orange liqueur with the base of the island’s more famous product, Rhum. There is white rhum and dark rhum in a shrubb. Also found in a shrubb are spices, bitter orange peels and sugarcane syrup. Finally the Shrubb rests in oak casks to take on the hues and sweet vanilla flavors from the charred oak.
I’m especially fond of adding the already sumptuous Creole Shrubb to small glasses of Rhum Agricole. In this case the Rhum Agricole also from Clement. This one however is named, Tres Vieux Rhum Agricole. Very old Agricultural Rhum. Six years this rhum rested in oak. It’s remarkably light and pure in the mouth- the citrus elements of the soil melt beautifully with the darker notes from the cask. The cane is bright and aromatic- with a splash or two of the Shrubb and then the further application of both Bitter End Moroccan Bitters and one perfect hand cut ice cube using Mavea “Inspired Water” there is perfection in my future.
To make a Fashionista Cocktail you must get all the ingredients. Each come together in a bold, multi-layered event in your glass and soon to your mouth. Certainly it takes time to source the blood oranges, cut them into rounds, sear them, let them cool- then juice them. This event may take all day! Then of course you need to find the Rhum Agricole. But once you seek it out, it’s possible that you may not see molasses based rum the same way again.
I also recommend that you find Bitter End Bitters. They are essential to the detail in this cocktail. I agree, some of the ingredients are hard to source, but trust me- they all speak very clearly of my desire for simplicity. There are no complicated techniques here. Finding everything is well worth the effort.
Blood oranges are easy enough to find. Cut them into rounds then sear them in a stainless steel saute’ pan that is heated to smoking hot. Let cool, then juice. Set aside.
Perrier makes the lovely Sparkling Natural Mineral Water. I am taken by their pink grapefruit flavor. Brightly aromatic, the citrus weaves around each bubble. If this had alcohol, it would be deadly.
My ice is the most important part of the Fashionista Cocktail. I ALWAYS filter the water through a Mavea “Inspired Water” pitcher and you should too. Water just tastes better, soft- creamy almost. There is a sensuality about the water that I cannot explain…. You must drip it into your mouth- or suck on an ice cube made with Mavea filtered water.
So, without further adieu… The Fashionista Cocktail
Ingredients for two VERY STRONG DRINKS
4 oz. Rhum Agricole from Clement (I used the Six Year Old, but you can use any of the marvelous Rhum that they offer)
1.5 oz. Creole Shrubb from Clement.
3 oz. Grilled Blood Orange Juice (reserve a few slices for garnish)
6 – Drops Bitter End Moroccan Bitters
4 oz. Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water (Pink Grapefruit essence)
One very large hand cut cube of ice from Mavea “Inspired Water”
To a Boston shaker add the liquors and the bitters
Add the grilled blood orange juice
Fill 3/4 with plain ice
Shake for 20 seconds
Pour into short Rocks glasses with one really large hand-cut ice cube
Top with a couple splashes of the Perrier Pink Grapefruit Sparkling Natural Mineral Water
Garnish with a slice of grilled orange
Sip very carefully and have another.
Marvel at the visual elements of this strikingly beguiling cocktail. Just like fashion!