Existential cocktails

MV5BMTgzODMyMjcyOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTAyMjMyMjE@._V1_SY317_CR3,0,214,317_AL_There’s little that’s more conducive to romantic loving than a great cocktail at a cosy speakeasy.  (My current favorites are Death & Co. for the ambience, and Employees Only for the Mata Hari – a divine cocktail with the little rose buds floating on top.)

However, the one I love making me a cocktail at home while watching The One I Love on Netflix this past Saturday evening was at least 20% better than going out. (Watch the movie to understand my feeble attempt at a joke.)

Cocktails and existentialism are a pretty good pair.  One might even say that existentialism was conceived under the influence of apricot cocktails. (Well, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir’s version of it, anyway.)

Sartre was hanging out with his friends Raymond Aron and the Beaver (Beauvoir) at Bec de Gaz on Rue Montparnasse, probably smoking lots of cigarettes really late at night and looking really trendy and clever. They were drinking apricot cocktails.

Aron told Sartre that if he were a phenomenologist he could make a philosophy out of his cocktail. Sartre thought to himself “Finally there is philosophy”. I often have similar epiphanies while drinking cocktails, but the flashes of inspiration never seem quite so brilliant the next morning.

Until I can figure out how to make that apricot cocktail, here are two recipes.


Mata Hari (Bad girl. Great cocktail.)

1 1/2 oz. Courvoisier
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
3/4 oz. chai-infused vermouth (see instructions)
1 oz. fresh pomegranate juice
3 dried rose bulbs (for garnish)

To infuse vermouth, steep 2 chai teabags in 1 liter of sweet vermouth; put on stovetop for about 5 mins. Don’t let boil. Strain.

Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice; shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with dried rose buds.

Recipe by Jason Kosmas and Dushan Zaric of Employees Only. Mata Hari was an exotic dancer who was convicted of being a spy in World War I.


Existential Hero

3/4 oz Blanco tequila
3/4 oz Light rum
3/4 oz Orange liqueur, Grand Marnier
3/4 oz Becherovka
3/4 oz Lime juice
1 t Amaretto

Shake, strain, rocks, lowball.  Based on a recipe by Chowhound from Kindred Cocktails.

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