March 3, 2014

Ask a Bartender: The Chrysanthemum

by Kayoko

My alcohol tolerance is not what it used to be, sadly. The morning after a night of drinking just gets tougher and tougher. Hideko says, “You are no longer young.” WHAT?!?!?

To curb this issue, I often order low-alcohol cocktails these days, like Vermouth or Sherry variations. They’re all the rage — the book Art of the Shim by Dinah Sanders is a big hit at Umami Mart! Martha, my friend and Camino bartender, made this drink for me a few weeks ago, well aware of my predilection for shimmy drinks. It is called a Chrysanthemum and it is a nicely-spiced, floral bouquet in a cocktail.

Original recipe from the Savoy Cocktail Book is:

1/3 Benedictine
2/3 French vermouth
3 dashes of Absinthe
“Squeeze orange peel on top”

Noted in the book: “Well known and very popular in the American bar of the SS Europa.”

Martha’s recipe:

2.5 oz Dolin dry vermouth
0.5 Benedictine
0.5 barspoon of absinthe
Orange twist

Method: Stir and serve up, or on the rocks.

Actually, I was a bit tipsy even after just one Chrysanthemum. So beware! Keep munchin on those nuts.

2 Comments

  • steph g
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Sounds interesting. One question: how long will vermouth keep once opened? Can it be treated like a spirit and left in an unrefrigerated place for a while, or is it more like wine where it is highly perishable and needs refrigeration and use within a few days?

  • Kayoko
    Posted April 5, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    @Steph G, good question. Technically, you should view Vermouth like any other wine, which you would only have rolling around in your fridge for a few days, tops. But in reality, my vermouth, once opened, stays in my fridge for a couple months. It will alter the taste a bit, but I don’t mind. Refrigeration is the most important though. Also, I like to get the half bottles instead of the full bottles, exactly for this freshness issue. Thanks for reading!

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