The Velvet Underground was born because I wanted to make a cocktail with Pimms. I purchased a bottle of Pimms No. 1 Cup several months ago, and it was gathering dust in the bar. Feeling a bit sorry for the bottle I decided to make a cocktail with it. My method for making a cocktail typically involves grabbing bottles and a straw, looking for complimentary mixes. Once found it’s a matter of experimentation with proportions.
Making a Great Cocktail
Pimms No. 1 Cup is a light fruity gin based liqueur. It actually stands alone very well in the cocktail that bears its name and is the official drink of Wimbledon. For the Velvet Underground I wanted a flavorful new cocktail, so I began tasting Pimms with a variety of liquors. What I settled on is exceptionally delicious and unique. The flavor is floral and fruity, but not offensively overpowering.
To build the drink I started with a base of Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth, if you are not familiar, this is not your average vermouth. Carpano Antica is rich, bitter, slightly sweet, and exceptionally herbaceous. Next a layer of spice was needed and was found by adding Velvet Falernum, a common addition in tiki drinks, with flavors of cloves and ginger. Finally a touch of St Germain Elderflower Liqueur for a floral note. I put all this on a bit of muddled orange for citrus notes to balance the drink.
I picked the name because I’m a big fan of Lou Reed and his edgy rock band, this feels like the sort of cocktail one might enjoy in a basement club in New York in the late 60’s.
The result is exceptional, rich and smooth in the mouth, but not heavy and sticky. You will find the Velvet Underground a perfect addition to a cocktail party as it is not the typical quaff. It is also an elegantly smooth after work cocktail, when you really deserve a treat, like tonight.
Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth. Pimms No. 1 Cup. Velvet Falernum. St Germain Elderflower. Orange.
Velvet Underground Cocktail
Exceptionally rich and smooth, but not heavy and sticky the Velvet Underground is a perfect addition to a cocktail party as it is not the typical quaff.
- 1 1/2 ounce Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
- 1/2 ounce Pimms No. 1 Cup
- 1/2 ounce Velvet Falernum
- 1/4 ounce St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
- 1 Orange Wheel for muddling
- Orange wedge of garnish
Muddle 1 orange wheel (a 1/4 inch thick slice of a orange) in a mixing glass.
Add remaining ingredients.
Fill half the mixing glass volume with ice.
Stir for 30 seconds.
Strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube.
Lay the orange wedge on top of the cube.
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