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April in Paris

It's only March, but I'm desperate for spring!

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I invited a new friend and fellow dad over to chat a few weeks ago, so naturally I wanted to impress him with my mad mixology skills. He’s primarily a beer drinker and straight vodka collins type, but I got a positive response overall. My impression with this recipe is it’s actually not quite sweet enough, so I added more orgeat syrup (pronounced “or-ZSA”, like Zsa Zsa Gabor) to my drink, but I left the original recipe mostly as is except for adding 1 more strawberry. The trick with this one was the orgeat syrup itself. I’m sure I could find it online, but I didn’t notice it at my local liquor stores, although honestly I didn’t really look that hard as I really wanted to make it myself. It’s basically an almond simple syrup, but has a few tricks and quirks. I found several variations on the recipe, but the process was the same, so I went with this one but had to modify it a bit. The problem was the orange flower water, which I assumed I could get at my health food store. Wrong! I tried buying it online too, but that didn’t give me enough time. Instead I looked at various substitution recipes and ended up adding several drops of orange extract (used for baking) and a bit of Cointreau. For the bit of brandy I used cognac. In the end it came out good, but you’ll notice it has a very milky appearance as compared to all the clear looking photos online of the same drink. I assume that’s because the bottled orgeat syrup is more refined and not as cloudy as the DIY version.

I’m still looking for orange flower water – I ordered some online, but then later got a notice that the brand I chose was suddenly unavailable. I think that delicate flower waters are gonna be my new thing this spring…. Stay tuned!

UPDATE: I got some orange flower water and it is the best stuff ever!!!

  • 1½ oz. vodka

  • ½ oz. St. Germain elderflower liqueur

  • ½ oz. Yellow Chartreuse

  • ¾ oz. fresh lime juice

  • ½ oz. orgeat syrup

  • 3 strawberries, 1 for garnish

  • Seltzer or club soda

  • mint and strawberry garnish

Muddle the strawberry aggressively in shaker to get tiny bits. Add ice and the remaining ingredients (except seltzer) and shake to chill. Strain into Collins glass over fresh ice and top with soda and garnish.



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