Discerning Drinking, Chapter Nine.


Originally posted 8th May 2012

Things at work are a bit stressful at the moment, what with the (dreaded) Associate Appreciation Week coming up.  Plus, in conjunction with said Appreciation Week I am creating a quiz night.  Any good ideas for questions are very much welcome!

Anyway, as a reward for a particularly productive day I decided to treat my flatmate (and therefore myself as well) to a round of one of the most incredible cocktails ever conceived by the hand of man; the Bitter Sweet Symphony.

This was a drink first made by Carmines Bar because of a poorly-stocked bar back in the early days of its creation, meaning that very few drinks could be made, the BSS being one of them.  It has stood the test of time; to the extent that my well-thumbed Cocktails #9 falls open on the page where the recipe is found (and now, this page coincidentally smells of grapefruit and vodka).

Cocktails #9 states that the BSS was created by a fantastic individual called Wayne Collins (boy, I’d like to shake his hand) for drinks company ‘Maxxium UK’.

Here is what you need. If you don’t have the stuff, then quit reading this, get to the nearest 24hr ASDA and stock the hell up:

  • 0.5 shot Vodka
  • 1 shot Triple Sec
  • 1 shot Apricot Brandy
  • 0.5 shot Lime juice
  • 1.5 shot Grapefruit juice

Shake everything together over ice and fine strain into a chilled Martini glass.

In true Carmine’s form I use Chase Vodka (now running low on this wonderful stuff), Cointreau for Triple Sec and Monin Apricot.  Now, apparently Lime Juice doesn’t exist in Limehouse (?!) so I used lemon juice.  It is essential that you use regular grapefruit juice, not ruby red.

I personally serve the BSS over ice in an Old Fashioned glass; it lasts longer and gives the drink a deceptive edge of brilliance.

You know you got this drink just right when you get the tartness of lime (or lemon!) slowly melding to grapefruit, sweetening up to apricot. Alternatively you just start grinning from ear to ear.  The drink isn’t overly strong, but having said that, I recommend you savour it; this is not a drink to rush, especially – like today – on one of those mad old days.

In the words of The Verve:

Cause it’s a bitter sweet symphony, this life

Amen to that!

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