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My husband is NOT a gin fan. He’d rather have tasteless vodka over the botanicals that can sometimes overpower, in his opinion, a gin. I’m the opposite, I love the nuanced aromas and flavors from a good gin, as well as from both sweet and dry vermouths, and all kinds of bitters (which are all incorporated in the recipe I’m highlighting this week below).

And if the concoction comes out in a pretty color, I’m that much more plussed. Now don’t assume I like the sweet stuff like the bright iridescent red Cosmopolitans, neon yellow colored Lemon Drops, or drinks with sugar or rainbow-colored Pop Rocks candy stuck to the rim, those drinks were fine when my palate was younger.

These days I’m more interested in a drink that offers a juxtaposition of flavors like a salted caramel, where the cocktail has both smoke and mirrors, and you can sit there all you want to sip and contemplate them all.

So, on a night the man was not around I made this lovely drink, in all its botanical splendor. My own changes are in italics:

The Wild Rose

By Lesley Jacobs Solmonson

2 oz. Leopold’s Gin (I used what I had: St. George’s “Botanivore” Gin with “19 herbs, spices, roots and citrus.” And note: the recipe online reads 0.5oz but the book read 2 ounces…so you know, I went with the bigger dose and it was freaking perfect.) 
0.5 oz. Dry Vermouth (La Quintinye Extra Dry) 
0.5 oz. Sweet Vermouth (La Quintinye Rouge – here is my review on both the Extra Dry and the Rouge
Dash Angostura Bitters 
Dash Orange Bitters (Hella Bitters Citrus, this was like a Citrus++ so check it out online.)

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass (I used a martini shaker.) Stir with ice and strain into a coupe

“Is it better to have loved and lost than never loved at all?  The poets seem to think so.  In literature and art, the more human beings are denied love, the more they crave it and obsess about it.  Which is why, over the centuries, so many have risked so much the name of love.  Would Anthony and Cleopatra – who fell in love at first sight – have married if they had known Rome would quake as a consequence?  Politics be damned, yes.   Would lovelorn Paris have kidnapped Helen if he thought it would jump-start the Trojan War?  Again, yes – foolish boy.  And would so many rom-com heroes and heroines have chucked it all to make that eleventh hour dash to the departure terminal had the promise of true love not been a reward which far outweighed any and all risks?”  Read more here.

The 12 Bottle Bar book is available on Amazon.

The 12 Bottle Bar website has a lot of cool info and more recipes too, it’s kind of my go-to for cool cocktail ideas.

Eve's Wine 101 Event Picks: NY in Napa 12/29-1/1, Paso's Blendfest 1/13-15, Sonoma Winter Wineland 25th Anniversary 1/14-15, STARS of Santa Barbara 1/18, Palate Builder 1/21, What You Need to Know About Wine 1/23, Cambria Art/Wine Fest 1/27-29, Rhone Tasting 1/28, Wine, Cheese and Chocolate 2/11, 2/12 and 2/14, Lodi in LA 2/15. Ongoing: Events locally at Reyes Winery, Wine House events in WLA, LA Wine Tasting, Monopole Wine events in Pasadena and  Eve does Wine Themed Parties.

Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, a "certification in first globally-recognized course" as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com