As reported by 312DD, D.J. Love of Sofitel's Le Bar took first place in the regional semifinals for the World Cocktail Competition Tuesday night at Boka. Love battled 19 fellows barkeeps from the Illinois Chapter of the United States Bartender's Guild and triumphed with the Ambrosia, winning the right to represent the state in the nationals on May 10 in San Francisco. The winner there goes on to Germany to compete for the world title.
Says Love, "I've found it's sometimes easier to come up with a name first and use that as the character of the drink while still trying to fit into the rules of the cocktail competition. So I came up with 'ambrosia.' It's the nectar of the gods. It's what gave the gods immortality. It was a very lofty goal." Love came across the cape gooseberries (aka ground cherries) in the kitchen at the Sofitel and started playing around with them. "They actually have a really unique flavor--they're very tart and little bit sweet."
1 tsp. Pernod absinthe
1 oz. cape gooseberry juice
1/2 oz. Martini & Rossi bianco vermouth
3/4 oz. St-Germain
3/4 oz. Martell VSOP Cognac
Chill a glass and rinse with absinthe. Combine ingredients in mixing glass. Shake and strain. Serve up.
Garnish: Dust gold leaf over cocktail. Gooseberry on rim of glass.If you're having trouble locating gold leaf or ground cherries, the Ambrosia will be on the cocktail menu at Le Bar for the next month. It's $12.