While the theme of Tim Cooper’s recently opened lounge at the Trump SoHo, Mr. Jones (246 Spring Street; 212-842-4566), celebrates global travel and adventure, it’s the taste of an old friend — apricot — that most reminds Cooper of fall. Perhaps it’s the fruit’s orange hue or its slight tartness, but when a craving for an autumnal cocktail hits, Cooper opts for a gin blossom. It’s a slight twist on a gin martini that takes advantage of one hard-to-find ingredient.
Cooper tells the Voice, “I really like spirit-on-spirit cocktails. Just a straight gin martini is probably a little too intense for me. If you like martinis, you definitely need to try the gin blossom.” The addition of apricot eau de vie is the essential twist, though finding bars that stock the clear fruit brandy can be a challenge. “The first time I had it was at Clover Club when they first opened,” Cooper says. He adds that the spirit appears to be more popular in European bars than in the States (though NYC home bartenders can find it at select liquor stores like Astor Wine and Spirits).
The appeal of the drink is what Cooper describes as “depth of character” — building it with spirit after spirit adds memorable layers with each passing sip. And not to worry that fruit brandy will produce an overly sweet cocktail; Cooper says it’s more dry than anything else.
The Gin Blossom
1 1/2 ounces gin
1 1/2 ounces bianco vermouth
3/4 ounce apricot eau de vie (Cooper suggests Blume Marillen)
2 dashes of orange bitters
Stir with ice in a mixing glass until cold. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with an orange peel.