We'd been drinking cocktails at the bar after dinner at Laguna Beach's Broadway restaurant, and I thought I was being a smart-ass, challenging one of OC's best bartenders to make a drink with a relatively rare ingredient that doesn't mix well.
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"Make me a cocktail with Calvados," I said to bar manager Gabrielle Dion. Nothing daunted, she got down the Calvados, yellow Chartreuse, and Benedictine, and measured the liquors into a stirring cup; she added ice, then stirred until the drink was properly diluted, strained it into a Champagne saucer, added bitters, and pressed citrus rind onto it while I gawped in awe.
Calvados, yellow Chartreuse and Benedictine? Any of those three would be a flavor punch upside the head, meant to be drunk as digestifs, helping a stereotypically huge and rich French dinner down, but together they complemented each other well. The reaction from other patrons at the bar was immediate; after I let people take a straw's worth of the cocktail, at least one other order for a Widow's Kiss went in.
This will teach me to throw down a challenge to someone who's better at making cocktails than I am at ordering them.