Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Favorite Things #1

I had an hour to kill in Avignon once, and that hour changed my drinking life. Well, at least my Manhattan drinking life. Now at the end of the day when the Manhattan mood strikes, I use half as much sweet vermouth and swap in Figoun, an aperitif made from red wine, sugar, figs, bitter oranges, angelica, mandarin oranges, vanilla and wormwood. Figoun, produced by Liquoristerie de Provence, is not available in most U.S. markets (my current bottle arrived through much chicanery courtesy of the charming Laurene Bourges), but it's worth seeking out if you like an old style aperitif: the vanilla and sugar well balanced by the tart citrus, the slightly dusty and white pepper aromatic pop engaged with the moderately ripe and restrained figginess. If you take to Figoun as I have, you'll find any recipe that calls for sweet vermouth or any other fortified wine might benefit from a little figounification.

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