Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Vampires, Vermouth, and the Dirty South

I'm a vampire buff.  I have a thing for zombies too, but I'll get into that in a week or so... today is all about those sexy, sleazy, bloodsuckers and the hoomans (me) who love them.

True Blood is one of my favorite shows: honestly, I could live without Sookie and her incessant whining, but then every show needs a bad guy... Mostly, I love the snarky writing, colorful chararcters (Lafayette and the mercilessly smart-mouthed vamper, Pam) and the endless parade of man-candy: nary an episode passes without one of the many attractive male leads parading around shirtless. Life is hard, get a helmet!

Recently, the show returned for it's fifth season and it couldn't come fast enough! Personally, I think it promises to be the most exciting season yet... Anyway, it put me in the mood to finally try a cocktail I've been dancing around since stumbling across it on CocktailDB (if you haven't checked out the site, you should: Martin Doudoroff and Ted  "Dr. Cocktail" Haigh have done an amazing job collecting thousands of recipes both old and new in one place.)  It at first reminded me of my beloved Mahattan, but on closer inspection it's more like a negroni...  The name comes from the French word for 'jewel,' and perhaps comes from the use of the bright green color of the chartreuse? With a name like the Bijou, and the herbaceous notes of the chartreuse there to enhance the vermouth, it put me immediately in mind of the wild woods around Bon Temps...

Bijou Cocktail

1-1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz green chartreuse
1/2 Sweet Vermouth
1 dash orange bitters

Stir in a mixing glass or tin with ice and strain into a cocktial glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
(photo from

I didn't immediately fall in love with it; I thought it was a little too strong on the 'musty' flavor- to be fair, though, I admit that I've have my sweet vermouth around and open for awhile- okay, 3 or 4 months- so that may very well have something to do with it.  I really ought to get one of those vacuum pump stopper kits precisely to keep my vermouth stash fresher for far longer.  That said, I'll probably give the drink another try before long.

While it may not have been an instant favorite, though, I will say that the Bijou definitely had bite ;) Now if I could just find my own 1,000 year old undead viking, life would be good...