A fabulous drink, spicy and sweet, redolent with herbal liqueurs whose recipes date back four hundred years. It was first served to me courtesy of my friend Dr. Cocktail along with Dave Wondrich of Esquire magazine, whom I was very pleased to finally meet at a cocktail party (natch) a few years back.
The drink dates back to at least 1895 and probably earlier, and is described thusly in Doc's book Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails:
"As the scene opens, you are up in your grandmother's attic opening the dusty steamer trunk she brought from Europe in 1914. You reverently turn back layer upon layer of old lace and brocade ... unveiling a packet of old love letters tied in silk ribbon. Ancient dried rose petals flutter down from between the envelopes.If it's fall or winter ... why aren't you having one right now?
"This is what the Widow's Kiss is like. Sweet, complex and darkly golden, thought-provoking and introspective. It is a cocktail of fall turning toward winter, and it wins Doc's award as the most evocative drink ever. Have one by the fire."
Widow's KissDave's got a terrific book out called Esquire Drinks: An Opinionated and Irreverent Guide to Drinking. I think you need a copy.
1-1/2 ounces Calvados or applejack
3/4 ounce Bénédictine D.O.M.
3/4 ounce yellow Chartreuse
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir with cracked ice for no less than 30 seconds; strain into a cocktail glass.
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Chuck Taggart email chef (at) gumbopages (dot) com