I was invited to a Grand Marnier event, heard it would include an interactive cocktail making session, and brought my drinks recipe book so I could ask the bartender to mix an Alfonso Special, which – ta dah! – includes the featured liqueur.
Question: How did said bartender respond when – after a half-dozen attendees finished making cocktails and he asked if anyone else wanted something – I showed him said recipe.
a) He smiled and said, “Wow, an Alfonso Special. That is a classic drink with a wealth of history, just like Grand Marnier, as I spent half an hour explaining earlier to everyone.”
b) He winked and said, “Of course, any cocktail that includes Grand Marnier is a cocktail we care about. Let’s try it.”
c) He grinned and said, “Of course, I can make it, but how about I teach you to do it, so you can enjoy them at home and buy and drink even more Grand Marnier.”
d) He frowned at the book, shook his head no, and said “that is a very old thing,” then turned away.*
No suspense: the answer is (d). And it has inspired me to also turn away from old things, like Grand Marnier (company founded in – gasp! – 1827) and drink nothing but two-year-old Scotch and four-week-old Beijing draft. (Kidding)
Anyway, the event, held in Klubb Rouge, celebrated the launch of this year’s “LEB” – “Limited Edition Bottle.” In this case, the bottle wears what looks like a red fur coat or, as the literature says, a “cosy.” From the press materials:
Cosy… as comfortable as a red fur stole with its soft, felt-like cloak that envelops the bottle without completely concealing the amber coloured liqueur within. Cosy… like the plush thickness of its soft covering. Without the solemnity of its ribbon, the bottle’s unmistakably unique shape is shown off, turning it into a veritable object of desire… Beneath the velvety feel of the fabric lies the smooth coolness of the glass bottle, a foretaste of the pleasures to come.
We tried the “Cosy“, a drink that involves coating the rim of a cocktail glass with pink sugar and filling it with Grand Marnier, Champagne, and orange juice. Frankly, I much preferred the cocktail we sipped during the presentation: Grand Marnier, tonic water, lime, and lots of ice. Speaking of which, three things to know about this liqueur:
- It is made by blending Cognac and the peels of Caribbean oranges that are picked when green and dried in the sun.
- It checks in at a whopping 40 percent alcohol.
- Its bottle is reminiscent of a Cognac copper pot (with a fur coat in this case)
Oh, and it tastes perfectly fine in an Alfonso Special. Trust me on this one.
* To be fair, this might have just have been an excuse, since he had much cuter people than me to deal with at the event. Then again, maybe he didn’t know how to make the drink. Who knows.