School is back in session and temperatures are starting to dip, so it is time to shake together another drink full of flavor, brightness, and a touch of tartness. The Plum Line pulls the flavors of plums and apricots together with the brightness of lemon and a nose of thyme to start you off. This cocktail does not require a long preparation and goes down easily.
Today we delve into sidecars, brandies and more stone fruit as we create a drink whose base takes us all the way to the Balkans and central Europe. There we find a long history of fermenting plums and then twice distilling them into eau-de-vie.
Eau-de-vie traditionally means “water of life” in French and refers to brandies made from fruit other than grapes, in this case damson plums. Plum brandy holds a lot of tradition throughout central and eastern Europe, from informal get-togethers and parties to formal and religious events such as baptisms, marriages, military service and Passover. We will be using one of these as the base for our cocktail today.
First, the TOOLS: For this cocktail you will need a cocktail shaker, a measuring jigger, a hawthorne strainer and a champagne coupe. As always, you will want to place the coupe in the freezer or fill it with ice water to chill.
Next, the INGREDIENTS: To the cocktail shaker add:
- 1 dash lemon bitters
- 2 dashes plum bitters
- .75 oz. fresh lemon juice
- .75 oz. apricot liqueur
- 2 oz. plum brandy
Finally, the PROCESS: If you have more of a sweet tooth, feel free to use a sugar rim by running a lemon wedge around the rim of your coupe and dipping your glass onto a plate of sugar. Fill your shake with ice and shake hard for 10-15 seconds. As always, if you look poised and calm while shaking, you probably are not shaking hard enough. Using your hawthorne strainer, pour your cocktail into your chilled champagne coupe, garnish with a sprig of thyme and a lemon wedge, and enjoy!