Gregory Buda, a bartender and the director of education at New York City’s The Dead Rabbit, became a blanche Armagnac enthusiast after visiting the region several years ago. He has found that blanche, essentially an unaged Armagnac, makes a livelier substitute for vodka in basic cocktails while also pairing well with other base spirits in more elaborate ones.
“We love using cocktails to start conversations with people and will often throw lesser-known ingredients like blanche Armagnac into a cocktail with familiar ingredients so that when people are reading it, it begs them to ask the question, What is it?” says Buda. “And that's our opening to educate our customers.”
Producers of blanche Armagnac use different types of grapes for the spirit’s base, and those lead to very different expressions. “Tariquet makes a very good blanche that works well in cocktails and plays well with other ingredients,” says Buda of the one he chose for this drink.
- 1 ounce Tariquet blanche Armagnac
- 1 ounce green-tea-infused Tanqueray No. 10 gin*
- 1/2 ounce Dolin genepy
- 1/2 ounce Pierre Ferrand pineau des Charentes
- 1/4 ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 ounce lemon sherbet
- 1/2 ounce sugar cane syrup
- 3 dashes Bittermens celery bitters
- Cucumber soda, to top
- Garnish: grated nutmeg
Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a teacup with one ice cube.
Top with cucumber soda.
Garnish with grated nutmeg.
*Green-tea-infused Tanqueray No. 10 gin: Add 2 grams green tea (about the equivalent of 1 tea bag) to 1 750-milliliter bottle of Tanqueray No. 10 gin. Allow to infuse at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes, tasting for potency every 5 minutes and stirring. Strain out solids through a fine strainer.