First, just a reminder that Sunday, Jan 30, 2010, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders (and me) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.
Widow’s Kiss Cocktail
1 Dash Angostura Bitters. (1 dash Angostura)
1/2 Liqueur glass Chartreuse. (1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse)
1/2 Liqueur Glass Benedictine. (1/2 oz Benedictine)
1 Liqueur Glass Calvados or Apple Brandy. (1 oz Calvados Montreuil)
Shake well (I stirred) and strain into cocktail glass.
“And if you close the door, the night could last forever.”
For some reason, the Widow’s Kiss Cocktail reminds me of the song, “After Hours” by the Velvet Underground.
As written, half Calvados and half liqueurs, it is rather sickly sweet. I have re-jiggered the ratios somewhat, a common tactic, and still find it too sweet for me. You could take them down to a quarter oz each, and I would be much happier.
Another tactic, sometimes taken, is to add some citrus to the drink, to balance out the intense sweetness of the Benedictine and Chartreuse liqueurs. That gets a bit far from the origins of the drink for me, but it also works and is tasty.
By the way, this is a drink, in my opinion, which should be made with Calvados. American Apple Brandies just don’t have the weight or interest to carry the drink. (Well, unless you choose to add some citrus, in which case American Apple Brandy will probably be fine. But then you’re just making an Herbal Jack Rose.)
I’m ambivalent about the Widow’s Kiss. It is a really good drink, and one of the best cocktail names of all times, but it is also far too sweet.
I suppose, properly, it is an after dinner, (Or After Hours?) digestive type cocktail, and enjoying it with coffee might be one way of coping with its extreme sweetness.
Otherwise, drying out the proportions works, though then it heads towards boozy-landia, basically being just a cold glass of Calvados.
Another treatment might be to take a Stinger type strategy, and serve it over crushed ice.
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.