For those who have gotten tired of making cocktails that all fall under a familiar umbrella of Negroni variations, modified Margaritas or tweaks on the Old Fashioned, San Francisco bartender John Codd has a solution: the Diamond Claret Cup features unorthodox ingredients, including a split base of red wine and raspberry brandy.
Raspberry brandy, also known as framboise, may not be as ubiquitous as something like apple brandy, but there are plenty of distillers around the world producing it. In the Diamond Claret Cup, Codd uses raspberry brandy from St. George Spirits, a lauded craft distillery in the Bay Area. The bright, floral eaux-de-vie from the distillery are excellent, and the raspberry brandy will serve well in this drink, but another clear raspberry brandy could be substituted if need be.
For the red wine, it’s best to use whatever you have on hand—say from a bottle you’ve opened to go with dinner. But keep in mind that brighter, more fruit-forward wines with a full body will work best—overly earthy red wines may overwhelm the other ingredients, while something too light, like a Beaujolais nouveau, could get lost.
Along with the unusual base of wine and raspberry brandy, the cocktail is sweetened with other less common ingredients: rather than simple syrup, Codd uses equal parts grenadine (a pomegranate syrup) and gum syrup, which is similar to simple syrup only more viscous; it’s often referred to as gomme syrup, which is the French spelling. Codd uses Small Hands Foods, a producer of historic cocktail syrups, for both the grenadine and gum syrups, but you can use whichever brand you prefer. Be sure to avoid anything artificial for the grenadine, and you can always consider making your own.
The drink is topped with a half-ounce of sparkling wine. Because of the small amount needed, it’s best to either make the Diamond Claret Cup in a large batch, like for entertaining, or to finish off some bubbly from the fridge. Otherwise you risk letting the bottle go flat in order to make a few drinks.
Add the raspberry brandy, red wine, lemon juice, gum syrup and grenadine into a mixing tin with ice, and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a Collins glass over ice, and top with the sparkling wine.
Garnish with a mint sprig.