Drinking at Bar Brigade is all about rosé on tap and riffs on cocktails that were popular in fin de siècle Paris. We settle in a cozy nook, brimming with greenery, and pass on a pretty French wine list in favor of a cloudy cocktail to beat back the sweltering afternoon.
Haden Riles is behind the bar, and he pours some very French ingredients in a shaker. “We aren’t going full fledged into the absinthe thing, with the sugar cubes and the cold water,” he says, “but we want to use that flavor as a base note.”
So he uses Pernod (see Spirits Close-Up: Pastis) for the same anise-forward feeling as absinthe, but then mellows it out with some bright botanicals.
“Acidity plays a huge role in balancing things out,” he says, “and the St-Germain, the elderflower, adds depth without making it viscous.” The result is the Wilde: lemony and bright, with the pastis present in aroma, but melding into a summery mix of cucumber and citrus. Très rafraîchissant.
1 ounce Pernod
1 ounce lemon juice
½ ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur
½ ounce cucumber simple syrup
Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a coupe glass. Spritz a lime wedge over the top, wipe it around the rim of the glass, discard the lime, and serve.
Cucumber Simple Syrup: Puree some peeled cucumbers and drain the puree through a fine mesh sieve. Measure your cucumber water, and add it to a sauce pot with an equal volume of sugar, simmer until dissolved, and cool.