Kiss-friendly tipple

For Valentine’s Day you can hardly do better than the Divine Aspect

Land & Water’s Divine Aspect
  • Land & Water’s Divine Aspect

The Land and Water Company

2978 Carlsbad Boulevard #110, Carlsbad

(Has gone out of business since this article was published.)

Mike Mayaudon

Mike Mayaudon

It ain’t pink or red, doesn’t include anything remotely chocolate, and it doesn’t come with a rose garnish, but for Valentine’s Day you’d hardly do better than suggest a drink that brings out a bit of the divine aspect in your better half…

Among the natural resources on Land & Water Co.’s cocktail menu, says this organic eatery’s bartender Mike Mayaudon, the Divine Aspect reshapes the bitter Compari-based Negroni into a more graceful image of balanced, kiss-friendly sweetness.

“You get a heavy apple flavor in the front and it ends sweet and smooth with the apricot,” Mayaudon says. “It’s light-bodied but finishes with a sweetness because of the apricot liqueur.”

As one of the basic “mother sauces” of cocktails, the Divine Aspect’s 1-1-1 proportion starts with the right combination of liquors. But don’t dare shake the thing, Mayaudon adds.

“Rule of thumb is that anything with all spirits is stirred, not shaken,” he says.

Director of mixology for Southern Wine and Spirits-Southern California and architect of Land & Water’s cocktail menu, Tricia Carr developed the drink (and its curious name) as a variant on the Angel Face (equal parts gin, apricot brandy, and calvados) — a classic Prohibition-era cocktail.

“It seems to me that ‘Angel Face’ could have been a fairly common term of endearment for a lovely lady — in the vein of Bogart’s famed use of ‘Doll Face,’” she says. “As for ‘Divine Aspect,’ I simply used what I thought were pretty sounding synonyms.”

The results are more than “pretty,” though — unless you add “darn good” — and Mayaudon sees the apple-cum-bourbon as a key component in that goodness.

“The flavor is not all apples but also has the bourbon taste,” he says. “Because Wild Turkey is such a high-proof liquor and good quality, it extracts a lot of the apple quality out. Meanwhile, the gin basically lengthens out the drink. Instead of having two ounces of Wild Turkey 101, which would make the drink too strong, the gin dilutes it a little bit. It also gives a more viscous texture when you stir the cocktail. The juniper notes of the gin play really well with the apricot, too.”

  • 1 oz. Broker’s gin
  • 1 oz. apple-infused Wild Turkey 101*
  • 1 oz. Luxardo apricot liqueur

Pour ingredients into cocktail tin with ice, stir for about 30 revolutions (“the magic number” for stirred cocktails, says Mayaudon), strain it into rocks glass filled with ice, and garnish with a twist of orange peel.

*Apple-infused Wild Turkey 101: Fill up a quart Mason jar with apple slices and whiskey, lid jar, and let infuse for two days.

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