Elk Cocktail

Elk Cocktail

1/2 Prunelle Brandy. (1 1/2 oz mixture 1/2 Trimbach Kirsch, 1/2 Prune Syrup)
2 Dashes French Vermouth. (Dolin French Vermouth)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Beefeater Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (Garnish with a prune.)

When I first made this I thought that “Prunelle” was a difficult to find liqueur made from Prune Plums.

So I decided I would approximate it by mixing prune syrup with eau-de-vie.

I thought of buying actual Prune brandy to mix with the Prune syrup, but figured might as well use the Kirsch I had instead. The oddest thing happened when I added the Kirsch to the Prune syrup. It gelatinized.

The texture of the cocktail ended up really weird, with cold gin and vermouth floating between gelatinized globules of kirsch flavored prune syrup. The flavors were good, but the whole thing was a little bit of unintentional molecular mixology.

Interestingly, it turns out that if there is enough pectin in a solution it will gelatinize when exposed to alcohol. Prunes, I’ve since discovered are unusually high in pectin.

(For more about pectin and it’s potential mixological uses, check out this recent article by Darcy O’Neil over on Art of Drink: Fruit Pectin)

I’ve also discovered that I had a bit of confusion about “Prunelle”. “Pruneaux” is a preserve made with plums and armagnac. “Prunetta” is an Italian liqueur made from prunes. “Prunelle” on the other hand is the french word for the fruit of the Blackthorn bush, otherwise known as Sloes. Prunelle is a liqueur made from those Sloes, as in “Sloe Gin”. Except instead of Gin, the French use Neutral Spirits or Brandy to make this liqueur. So really a better solution to this Savoy cocktail would be something like 2/3 Sloe Gin, 1/3 Vodka, 1 teaspoon French Vermouth.

1 1/2 oz Lindesfarne Sloe Gin
3/4 oz Stillwater Vodka
1 teaspoon French Vermouth

Stir and strain into a cocktail glass.

Ooof, that isn’t quite there. Without any sweetening the Lidesfarne Sloe Gin is quite bitter and tart.

Maybe reverse the proportions?

1 1/2 oz Stillwater Vodka
3/4 oz Lindesfarne Sloe Gin
1 teaspoon French Vermouth

Stir and strain into a cocktail glass.

Oof, that isn’t very good at all. No Gin taste.

Ok, last chance:

3/4 oz Beefeater Gin
3/4 oz Stillwater Vodka
3/4 oz Lindesfarne Sloe Gin
1 teaspoon French Vermouth

Stir and strain into a cocktail glass.

Well OK, that is drinkable. I think it would probably be even better with the slightly sweeter Plymouth Sloe Gin.  Or maybe a less funky vodka than the Stillwater.  Not bad, though.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

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