One week from now is 4th May or, in America, May 4th (as in “May the 4th Be With You”), which makes it Star Wars Day. As such, I am creating some companion cocktails for each of the seven films.
EPISODE I – THE PHANTOM MENACE
In which a young Darth Vader races through the desert, some robots fight swamp creatures, and we see a double-bladed lightsaber.
This cocktail takes its regal inspiration from the tipple enjoyed by both Queen Elizabeth and the late Queen Mother; gin & Dubonnet, which has been lengthened with Champagne in the style of a Kir Royale.
20ml Gin, 20ml Dubonnet (or Red Vermouth), 75ml Champagne
This has a wonderfully savoury, herbal nose. Rich, warm berry notes are quickly followed by an unexpected, but pleasant note of basil, which develops into a more complex array of herbal flavours. This fades into more savoury notes from the gin – a little pine and tart berry – accompanied by the revitalising dryness of the Champagne.
For this cocktail, I wanted to reflect the colourful, exotic scenes of Tatooine’s podrace. As a punch, it’s also easy to scale up and share with a group of friends (or fellow spectators).
30ml Rum (I used Golden Rum), 10ml Lime Juice, 10ml Sugar Syrup, 30ml Pineapple Syrup Mix ingredients in a shaker, pour into a glass with ice and top up with a splash (10ml) of ginger beer.
Thirst-quenching, light, and comforting, this has a great note of spice at the start, followed by notes from the rum and a hint of fruity cola. What’s particularly nice about it is that it’s neither too sweet, nor too bitter. The fresh sweetness from the pineapple juice comes through increasingly on the finish, along with richer notes from the rum and a light, warm spiciness.
Duel of the Fates
These three mini cocktails, inspired by Episode I’s lightsaber battle, work surprisingly well when drunk together – taking a sip from each highlights strengths and flavours in each.
Blue – 10ml Blue Curacao, 60ml Champagne
Red – 10ml Campari (Grenadine or Cherry Brandy if you like something sweeter), 60ml Champagne
Green – 10ml Midori, 60ml Champagne
For each, add the liqueur to the glass and top up with Champagne.
The green cocktail is vibrant, bubbly, and full of fruit notes; there’s a flash of sweetness at the start, before a more confectionery flavour of melon gradually builds. The Champagne adds a lovely dryness to the finish, although the melon notes linger for a while in the background, taking on a more bubblegum type of character.
The green cocktail is complemented well by its blue counterpart, which is more dry and has an array of complex citrus notes, including hints of marmalade and dried fruit. Again, the wine adds a refreshing dryness to the finish.
In stark contrast to both of the above, the red cocktail is full of bitter, earthy notes, which nonetheless works surprisingly well alongside them. The light, fruity sweetness of the wine also comes through more strongly, balancing out those bitter Campari notes on the finish.
Check back tomorrow for Episode II – Attack of the Clones