So Cindy and I were at Maduro’s in Madison over the summer, enjoying their signature cocktails (a Monk’s Summer for her, a Bird of Omen for me) when I spied a bottle of liquor that was new to me. When I asked the bartender for a closer look, he handed me a glass and poured a bit of the bronze-orange liqueur into it. It was Pierre Ferrand dry curacao, resurrected from a 19th-century recipe from Pierre Ferrand proprietor Alexandre Gabriel and legendary spirit historian David Wondrich. Unlike the saccharine orange syrup that passes for curacao today, Ferrand’s version is wonderfully full of orange peel and dry spice with a bit of bitterness on the end, perhaps like biting into a fresh orange peel in the tropics. I bought my first bottle this fall; it was gone before the break of the next day. It is great alone, but is indispensable in classic cocktails that call for orange curacao or triple sec.
For a Thanksgiving cocktail that includes Ferrand dry curacao, try one we call the False Vineyard, so named because it tastes remarkably like good white wine despite not having wine in it at all.
2 ounces genever gin (we used Bol's)
1 1/2 ounce St-Germain
1 ounce Pierre Ferrand dry curacao
1/2 ounce freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Shake all on ice and strain up in a cocktail glass or double the recipe and pour into an iced Collins glass. Enjoy with food or as an aperitif.