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*Recently featured in the Weekly Dig.

by Pinky Gonzales + Pink Lady

Count Louis Philippe Joseph de Roffignac fought alongside the British in the Battle for New Orleans, then in the 1820’s became its Mayor. Among many things, he was credited for bringing cobblestone and city lighting to the streets of the French Quarter. He escaped the guillotine and fled his native France for the swampy shores of the Ponchartrain. And like any good Frenchman, Joseph also drank his share of Cognac, which he was known to mix with seltzer, ice, and rich raspberry syrup in a tall glass.

Little did he know this early highball-of-sorts would forevermore bear his name, alongside the classics Sazerac, Ramos Fizz, and Vieux Carré. As with (what many consider to be) the first cocktail, the Sazerac, imbibers grew to swap the more readily available and popular rye whiskey for the Cognac over time. We find Cognac or Brandy still makes for the best Roffignac, while a rye Sazerac is a match made in heaven.

Sip one of these as you prep your liver for Tales of the Cocktail this July.

Cin-cin!

Roffignac Cocktail

2 ounces Cognac, Brandy, or good rye whiskey

1 ounce raspberry syrup

Soda water or seltzer

Fill a highball glass with ice. Add the first two ingredients, then top off with soda or seltzer. Swizzle and serve.

(Various raspberry syrups can be found in specialty stores, or make your own: muddle fresh raspberries with simple syrup, double-straining out the seeds.)

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*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, as originally published in The Weekly Dig

by Pink Lady

It’s no secret that the ladies of LUPEC love vermouth. We like it poured with a heavy hand in our martinis and our Hearst’s. We have also been known to enjoy it on the rocks with a twist of lemon, orange wheel or even an olive.

A recent excursion to the left coast landed this LUPEC lady at Sutton Cellars, a winery in downtown San Francisco. Though the winery is basically a one-room operation with concrete floors and walls, a small room off the cask-filled space is Sutton’s vermouth lab. Jars filled with infusing botanicals line the walls, and the aroma of dried flowers fills the room. We sampled the freshest vermouth we’d ever tasted there, literally minutes after it was blended.

Vermouth is a special category of aperitifs that takes its name from the German word for wormwood, “wermut,” and is essentially an aromatized wine that has been fortified and flavored with herbs, roots, bark and flowers. Whether red or white in color, white wine is usually used as the base, with color imparted in the vermouth by botanicals.

Sutton’s vermouth is based on neutral white wine, fortified with unaged brandy, and flavored with a proprietary blend of 17 different botanicals. The most prominent among these is chamomile, making for a vermouth that is elegant and floral, with a little citrus kick.

Fortunately for us, Sutton Cellars vermouth is available in the Boston area, too. Hit up Dave’s Fresh Pasta or Central Bottle Wine in Cambridge to sample a bottle. Try it in a martini or on its own to whet your appetite before the dinner hour.

VERMOUTH APERITIF

2 oz Sutton Cellars vermouth

splash soda

Build over rocks in an old fashioned glass and a twist of lemon or orange.

CIN-CIN!

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