Santa Sangre

Here’s a champagne cocktail I came up with for the bar tonight as I had plenty of free time during my day shift. Let me know what you think.

Santa Sangre

3/4 oz. Grenadine (liqueur or non-alcoholic)
3/4 oz. Gin
3/4 oz. Ginger Liqueur
2 oz. Champagne or Cava

Mix grenadine, gin, and ginger liqueur with ice until cold. Strain into champagne flute. Top off with sparkling wine, stir with a bar straw to mix well, and serve.

The drink came about because someone picked up a grenadine liqueur instead of non alcoholic grenadine. We couldn’t use it to make Shirley Temples for kids,1 and I couldn’t think of any exact recipes off the top of my head, so I did a little mixing with what we had behind the bar. After a few minutes of fussing around I came up with a few contenders: the Santa Sangre, a drink which turned out to be a simplified Scoff Law,2 and an equilibrium/mind/soul erasing combination of rum, grenadine, and scotch.3 It was early in the week, so we went with the relatively mild Santa Sangre. Also, the bar in which I work features GUS All-Natural Sodas, which taste less sweet than regular soda, but which still use a whole lot of sugar; there’s something similar going on in this cocktail: it tastes surprisingly dry, considering that the grenadine and Canton are—by themselves—almost overpoweringly sweet.

The sparkling wine I used was our cava, which is definitely dry; I would stick away from Prosecco (not bubbly enough) and sweet bubblies for this one. For gin, I used Juniper Green; it has a huge juniper nose, but there’s some nice floral flavor in there that helps it mix well. I use Canton for my ginger liqueur, and I can’t say enough good things about it: unlike most infused vodka it doesn’t taste candied, the ginger flavor itself is direct and clean, and, like Saint Germain, it somehow gives cocktails an extra dimension without setting the whole thing off balance.

1Though we did experiment with an alcoholic version for adults, for which someone suggested the name “Shirley Gone Wild.”

2The word Scoff Law came during Prohibition to describe someone who drank illegally; it was the good people at Harry’s Bar in Paris who responded by coming up with a cocktail and applying the name to it. Here’s a recipe for a Scoff Law, along with a note about the word’s origin.

3If you dare: mix 2 oz. Mt. Gay Spiced Rum and ½ oz. Grenadine with ice in a highball glass. Fill the the remaining volume with the Glenlivet, stir, and serve.

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