Fern Bar’s Creme de la Femme cocktail is a bright and floral take on a Gin Sour. Sour cocktails were popularized in the mid 1800s and first mentioned in print in Jerry Thomas’ How to Mix Drinks in 1862. Most people are familiar with the Whiskey Sour or its variants like a Boston Sour or New York Sour. In our bartender Sara Fraker’s Creme de la Femme she highlights locally-produced and sourced ingredients; Uncle Val’s gin is produced by a company based in Sonoma and Tempis Fugit is located in Petaluma.
Yield: 1 cocktail
1½ oz. Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin
½ oz. Tempis Fugit Creme de Violette
½ oz. oleo saccharum*
¾ oz. lemon juice
1 egg white
Splash of sparkling rosé to finish
Add all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously without ice until the egg white froths up. This step is called a “dry shake”. Add ice to the shaker and shake again, using a fine strainer to create an even texture and remove any little ice chips. Finish with a splash of rosé. This drink is served in our Urban Bar Retro 1920s Fizz Glass, but will taste and look great in any glass you like. The cocktail is garnished with a hibiscus dust we make by drying hibiscus flowers and blending it to a dust. Add a pansy, daisy, or any other cute little flower from your garden for some extra flare.
*A little story about that funny sounding syrup oleo-saccharum. An oleo saccharum is a fancy-sounding bar ingredient produced by simply mixing citrus rinds in sugar, which pulls the citrus oil from the rinds, giving the resulting sugar-oil mix a rich flavor beyond that which a simple syrup or fruit juice would give.
Fern Bar uses a variation of Jeffrey Morganthaler’s recipe (see below) from Portland cocktail bar and restaurant Clyde Commons. Instead of just lemons we like to use a combination of grapefruit, orange, lemon, and lime. We also like to put some fresh slices of citrus in addition to the zest for some extra juicy flavor. The sugar will dissolve in the oil and fruit and you can just strain it off as a syrup. A vacuum bag and sealer are useful accessories to make oleo saccharum, but certainly not necessary. You can use a large Ziploc bag and remove as much air as possible before sealing it to get a similar effect. There is really no wrong way to do it, so have fun mixing it up!
This syrup can be used in punches as well and is a big part of their flavor profile. Try it in the classic Planter Punch on a hot day and you won’t be disappointed.
created by Jeffrey Morganthaler
16 oz. superfine sugar
Tools: vegetable peeler, vacuum bag, vacuum sealer
Wash the lemons. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from the lemons, avoiding as much of the white pith as possible. Combine sugar with the lemon zest in a bowl. Toss to coat the peels and distribute them evenly through the sugar. Place the mixture in a vacuum bag and, following the manufacturer’s instructions, seal the bag. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for up to 24 hours, or until the sugar is dissolved by lemon oil.