by Franky Vivid
I used to prefer them all natural.
Listen. I’m a whiskey guy. Whis-fucking-key. And when I say whiskey, I don’t mean that stuff they make over seas that tastes like your distillery is in a burning hospital. I mean red blooded, American, raised in the Kentucky blue grass corn juice. Daddy’s iced tea.
But I’m not above a good cocktail if it’s done right. Key words are “done right”. For instance, I used to hate Manhattans because they usually taste like a cherry cough drop. But I’ve found a handful of places who do it right and, well, they’re delicious. Sazeracs too. Once I found the coupla joints that don’t sweeten them too heavily voi to the la, I was in. But Sazeracs were just a gateway cocktail for me. Their boozey goodness was recently crowned second place when I started going to Bar Tonique (incidentally BT makes my favorite Sazz) and had a series of perfect Vieux Carré’s (voo kah ray – basically means “old square” in reference to the French Quarter).
Oh yeah, the Vieux Carré is a fine testament to seeing how much alcohol you can tastily cram into a glass. Rye, Cognac, Benedictine, Vermouth, and not one but two kinds of bitters – Angostura AND Peychaud’s. There’s even a little room left for your ice cube – if that’s your thing.
However, when I’m at home I just don’t have the well stocked bar that people would think an international playboy like me would have. It’s pretty much stocked with, you know – whis-fucking-key. Or is it whi-fucking-skey?
Okay, so the other day, my wife - also a lover of the corn juice – wanted a cocktail…AT HOME! At home where I’ve already said I ain’t gotta lotta cocktail makin’ stuff. The cocktail that came to mind was the aforementioned Vieux Carré. And that drink doesn’t have bourbon in it. No corn juice.
BUT…somehow I did have cognac (turned out to be a 30 year old bottle of Pierre Ferrand…international playboy indeed), vermouth and both bitters. No Benedictine but I figured what the hell, I could get real damn close. Maybe if we both just closed our eyes we could conjure up a semi-Vieux and see what happens.
So, I threw Wild Turkey 101 (my standard), Pierre (Hello fine gentleman, meet the Kickin’ Chicken), and several dashes of bitters into a shaker with two ice cubes and hoped for the best.
Here’s the deal. It was awesome! So awesome, in fact, that we had a couple more and have had plentiful quantities since. But since it’s not a Vieux Carré, only Vieux Carré adjacent I couldn’t call it a, you know, a Vieux Carré.
So…behold – the Faux Carré, proof that fake isn’t always bad.
Faux Carré (also called Daddy’s Sleepy Time Tea)
1 oz High Proof Bourbon (at least 100 proof)
1 oz Cognac
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
2-3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Combine all ingredients, in order, in a shaker with two large cubes of ice. Shake for a few seconds (not too long or it will get water) and strain into a rocks glass over two more cubes.