Herbal spirits like Chartreuse, Bénédictine, Pimm’s, and Lillet are all the rage these days. Why are these liqueurs appearing on just about every cocktail menu put in front of you? They aren’t new spirits. In fact, most are quite old (Pimm’s was created in 1859, Bénédictine in the late 1860’s). Maybe that’s why? What’s old is new?
Ms. S&C isn’t complaining. She likes herbal aromatic additions in a cocktail. They add a layer of complexity, and without any danger of making the drink too sweet. Ms. S&C has come across a few other, lesser know, botanical spirits that she’s fallen for: Dimmi and Aperol. Both of which happen to be Italian herbal liqueurs, and that’s particularly apropo since Ms. S&C is traveling to Italy (for the first time ever!) today!!!
Dimmi translates to “tell me,” a phrase used frequently between friends in Italy, especially on the telephone. Dimmi includes a secret blend of herbs and fruit essences such as liquorice, vanilla, rhubarb, ginseng and bitter orange. It is great with citrus and strawberries. Ms. S&C first experimented with Dimmi by pureeing *very* ripe strawberries, adding the liquor, ice, and topping it with seltzer. She also garnished with rosemary from her garden, for extra aroma. It was an intensely refreshing cocktail — one that she needs a name for.
Ms. S&C tries out a few herbal Italian liqueurs, like Dimmi, in preparation for her first visit to Italy.
Ms. S&C also tried the “Herbal Sour” cocktail recipe from the Dimmi website. This drink includes one of Ms. S&C favorite cocktail techniques: infused simple syrup (using thyme and rosemary from her garden). Infusing simple syrup takes a little bit of work (so does fresh-squeezing grapefruits, lemons, and limes), but it is all worth it for this cocktail.
Ms. S&C’s colorful concoction of Aperol and Prosecco match the colorful concoction of her Nanette Lapore pants.
Aperol has been mentioned on the S&C blog before. Miss Mojito came across it last fall at a restaurant in Richmond. Ms. S&C found herself at the same restaurant not too long ago and tried Aperol for the first time. It was like love at first site. The spirit is bitter, colorful, and a lot like Campari. Ms S&C’s drink at Acacia was called the Mid-town Spritz and ingredients included: Aperol, gin, orange juice, housemade fennel syrup, Prosecco. However, when at home, she can also recommend a simple mix of Prosecco with a few splashes of Aperol.
Ms. S&C wants to know: Ms. S&C wants you to tell her you would like to see more of (or less of). She’s going to be on vacay for a little more than a week, but during this time, she’d love for readers to tell her what they want on this blog. More pictures? More style tips? More menswear (any menswear?) More food and drink pairings? More bar recommendations? More shoes? More outfits? More party planning? Tell me!
posted by Ms. S&C