This week's adventure found me at the popular Seal Beach watering hole, 320 Main, a place where the mixologists take the creation of cocktails very seriously.
Earlier this week, 320 Main hosted a gin drink contest, co-judged by our own editorial assistant Jessica Ford. After staggering home from the event safely, Ford said one drink in particular stood above the rest--the Yuzu Blossom. Her description of the concoction caught my attention and a blog post was born. 320 will feature this drink until January 30, so hop on it. Here's the chemical breakdown:
1 1/2 oz. Bols Genever, a unique liquor fermented from corn, like bourbon, but infused with juniper, a staple of gin.
3/4 oz. Cointreau
3/4 oz. lemon juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup
1 barspoon Yuzu Marmalade
garnish with a slice of orange peel
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Though incredibly delicious, the flavor is tricky to describe. Few cocktails taste like this one, which makes finding a reference point difficult. Obviously, it's a very sweet drink. The citrus ingredients put this one in the family of a lemon drop martini, but the Cointreau adds a new dimension which keeps it from entering the realm of simple, candy-flavored cocktails prevalent at trendy night spots.
The result is a unique balance of sweetness and tartness minus the harsh bite of alcohol.
If there is one criticism, it's that the complexity of flavors masks the taste of the juniper in the Bols Genever. People not fond of gin might actually appreciate this, and many mixologists feel if a drink is prepared correctly, the alcohol won't overwhelm the palate.
However, the unique flavor of the herbally infused gin for me is a welcome break from some of the other liquors I gravitate toward. Don't miss this one, but go easy: the $10 price tag will hit the wallet hard; the booze, carefully disguised by the drink's sweetness will hit your brain fairly hard as well. Enjoy.