This cocktail has a name, appearance and elegant flavor well suited for Valentine's Day. Unlike its floral namesake, however, this Rose is best enjoyed in quantities of fewer than a dozen.
Rescued from a vintage bar menu by cocktail historian David Wondrich, the Rose enjoyed a brief flash of popularity at the Chatham Hotel in Paris in the 1920s. Good luck finding it since then, which is a shame; soft, floral, lightly sweet and with a titillating aroma from the cherry eau de vie, the Rose is an exercise in delicate decadence, a drink that, like the Widow's Kiss, can put the imbiber in a mindset from a completely different era.
- 2 ounces dry vermouth
- 1 ounce kirsch (an unaged, unsweetened cherry brandy)
- 1 teaspoon raspberry syrup or Chambord
Pour ingredients into a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir briskly for 30 seconds and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry or – go for broke – an unsprayed rose petal.
As with any cocktail, quality counts; be sure you use a freshly opened bottle of decent vermouth (Noilly Prat works well, and is only marginally more expensive than lesser brands), and a good bottle of kirsch: Trimbach and Clear Creek are both excellent options.