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  • Thomas D. Williams

Painted Lady



This decadent drink capitalizes on the lush raspberry reduction in E. Giffard's fine Crème de Framboise, a heady liqueur made by steeping fresh raspberries in liquor. The rich sweetness of the Framboise is offset by the addition of an equal quantity of fresh lemon juice, which prevents the cocktail from becoming cloying or flabby.


I developed this drink after returning from the south of France with several Giffard products and experimenting with different permutations of gin-based concoctions. The result played to great acclaim, particularly (though not exclusively) from the female set. The sensuous ruby color helped as well, and led to the eventual christening of the drink as the Painted Lady, with a nod to Elton John's fine 1973 ballad of similar name. Add a cutting of an edible flower as garnish, and voila! a perfect quaff to begin your evening and delight your guests.


This drink is ridiculously simple to make, once you have the necessary ingredients, and requires no special preparation or timing. I recommend beginning with equal parts of the four base ingredients -- gin (nothing with too much individuality, preferably Bulldog or Plymouth or the like), fresh lemon juice, Crème de Framboise, and Cointreau (as I have insisted in other posts, the brand here is not negotiable so don't even think of using a generic triple sec).


Once you have tasted the cocktail with equal parts of the four ingredients, feel free to vary the proportions to match your mood, depending on whether you want to up the backbone of the drink (gin + lemon juice) or round it out further (Framboise + Cointreau).

The Giffard Crème de Framboise seems to be readily available for purchase in the United States but if you have trouble finding it, you may substitute another high-end raspberry liqueur such as Chambord. If you go too cheap here, however, you will end up with an unpleasant chemical taste and artificial sweetness which will destroy the drink.


Recipe:

- 1 part gin (Bulldog, Plymouth, Beefeater, or even Gordon's)

- 1 part fresh lemon juice

- 1 part Giffard Crème de Framboise

- 1 part Cointreau

Directions:

Pour all four ingredients over abundant ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for at least 20 seconds and strain into a coupe or martini glass.


Garnish with edible flower petals.


Serve.

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