The media cannot live on heritage breed meats and sustainably farmed vegetables alone. While I was primarily in Aspen to collect and share content regarding the all-star line-up of chefs, and their dizzying array of food, it was a perfectly made cocktail that may have left me with my most enduring taste memory.
The cocktail was called As the Night Falls, and was being served exclusively at Chateau de Grey Goose, Grey Goose Vodka's beautiful Aspen lair. I was invited to a cocktail party to meet its creator, François Thibault (pictured here with Dimi Lezinska, left), and taste the intriguingly named concoction.
In the spirit of full-disclosure, let me say that I'm not a vodka drinker, nor do I regularly frequent cocktail parties. My wardrobe and personal style pair much more naturally with beer, but as I stood in front of the marble bar watching my As the Night Falls being muddled, measured and mixed, I was getting genuinely excited to taste this drink.
It was love at first sip – a delicious combination of Grey Goose L'Orange vodka, fresh grapefruit juice, and an exotic spice blend, including ginger and pink peppercorns. As I tipped the frosty glass for a second sip, François asked me what I thought.
It's moments like that where I really wish I spoke French, so I could have given him a compliment worthy of this brilliant formula – but I don't, so I said, "it's really good, I like it." Stupid English.
Happily, Grey Goose was mixing drinks at events and parties throughout the Food & Wine Classic, and thanks to my As the Night Falls experience, I consumed not a single beer. Thanks to François, and his French vodka, I had become a cocktail party guy.
Anyway, below I've included the recipe for the As the Night Falls, as well as another cocktail I had a few of (five), called the Pear Flower. I don’t know if I'll be running out to buy the box set of Sex in the City anytime soon, but thanks to Grey Goose and François, I have decided to expand my drinking horizons.
If you have any questions you can check out Grey Goose's website site which has lots of recipes and information. Enjoy!
Grey Goose L'Orange As the Night Falls
2 parts Grey Goose L’Orange Flavored Vodka
1 part white grapefruit juice
2 coriander (cilantro) leaves
7 red peppercorns
1 1/2 tsp white sugar
Small piece of ginger
whole star anise to garnish
Add the peppercorns, ginger, and cilantro to the bottom a cocktail shaker. Muddle slightly (means to crush a bit with a blunt wooden dowel) to release the flavors in the spices. Fill the shaker with ice and add the rest of the ingredients. Cover and shake vigorously. Double strain into chilled coupette or martini glasses. Present a whole star anise floated on top to garnish. Learn French (optional).
1 1/2 parts Grey Goose La Poire Flavored Vodka
1/2 part St. Germain® Elderflower Liqueur
3/4 parts freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1/3 part freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 part sugar syrup
very fine granulated sugar
Rub a lemon wedge around the rim of a cocktail glass. Roll the moistened glass in the sugar. In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients. Shake well and double strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a pink grapefruit zest.