Today, I celebrate my wedding anniversary. Therefore, I thought it fitting to present the long-awaited Angelica, a cocktail inspired by and named for my bride. As I stood with her hands in mine at the romantic old church in NYC four years ago, I was only beginning to discover her numerous gifts. This herbal martini was developed over the course of a few months from a list of my wife Angel’s own attributes, which enriches every day of our marriage.
I begin with a squeeze of lime, a hint of secret romantic love. It was said that lovers of an age gone by preferred the shade of lime trees for a meeting place. The scent awakened the playfulness of springtime courtship. Lime is also symbolic of positive energy.
Next I add a raspberry, the fruit of kindness. The red juice of this
delicate fruit symbolizes the purity of blood where kindness originates. I then add a cucumber slice for the essence of healing and renewal from the stories of our past to inspire those in our stories yet to be written.
I also throw in a small bunch of bitter herbs, such as arugula or cilantro. In the ancient Jewish Passover tradition, bitter herbs were consumed in remembrance of their slavery in Egypt. The bitter herbs in the Angelica thus signify strength in the ability to endure. I muddle the elements of love, kindness, renewal and strength before adding the spirits.
The clear stream of vodka is poured in for purity, followed by a
half portion of Chambord, a raspberry liqueur, to intensify the kindness. I then add a teaspoon of Galiano, an Italian liqueur made from various herbs denoting wisdom and exotic depths of knowledge. This is a strong liqueur with a bitter taste. Any more than the desired measurement could overpower the drink. Similarly, just a little dose of strength is sufficient to carry the modern woman though the seasons of her life.
A lime rind rubbing along the edge of a chilled martini glass presents a refreshing citrus scent. The romantic portion is then shaken well, strained into the glass, topped off with sparkling water and a raspberry for garnish.
The Angelica takes several seconds to settle into it’s final misty pink color, reflecting an unassuming, nurturing and quiet love. My bride is thus celebrated in the Angelica which is pleasant on palate and leaves a refreshing after-taste. Often, I share the story of the Angelica as I make it for my patrons at the bar. I am then reminded that angels really do exist in human form. I should know. After all, I married my angel…