We don’t often feature house recipes from bars, at least not until they start showing up in other places and in other recipe collections. This isn’t because we don’t like them, we just kind of figure they belong to the creator, until they don’t, then we can try making them. Such is the case with the Bella Luna, which comes to us, originally, from the Death & Co. book as one of their creations. But what a creation it is!
We really wanted to post this cocktail, not because it tastes great, it does, but because of the glass. The recipe specifies a port glass, not something we typically use for mixed drinks, but it makes total sense. The Bella Luna is a fragrant cocktail, full of pleasant floral notes and all the things that make you go wow, which makes the glass perfect for what we put in it. And how does it taste? Just as good. This is one drink that works on the nose just as well as on the palette, and we’re very OK with that.
Making the Bella Luna is pretty easy, but it does call for Creme Yvette, which might be tough to find. If you can find it, though, please do stick to spec. Creme de Violette could be used, but Creme Yvette has a bit more character and depth, and while we wouldn’t use it in something like an Aviation, we really do prefer it in the Bella Luna. This is also where the cocktail gets its color. Creme Yvette isn’t purple, rather more of a burgundy color, like port wine, from the berries used to make it. This gives the drink a reddish hue, a reference to the harvest moon perhaps, as a nod to the name itself.
Now comes the hard part, picking the gin. No, just kidding, this one is easy. The recipe calls for Plymouth Gin, and if there was any sidestep to Portland style gin, this is it. This drink was almost designed for Portland gins, and our choice is Wild Roots Gin. You didn’t know they make gin, did you? Well they do, and it’s excellent. Dry, but with a nice, at first unexpected, finish that isn’t as citrus forward as most, but isn’t a juniper or cardamom or any other herb bomb for sure. It’s herbal enough, it’s citrus enough, and it stands as an example of their house style, which you may know from their range of vodka. Quality matters at Wild Roots, and it shows in their work, which is why Wild Roots Gin now has its own place on our shelf. Add to it some elderflower liqueur, St. Germain in this case, Creme Yvette, lemon juice and a bit of simple and you have a Bella Luna. Just be sure to use a glass that focuses the fragrance, and pour one some evening when you and those special to you toast the beauty of a full moon.
2 oz Wild Roots Gin
3/4 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
3/4 oz Lemon juice
1/2 oz Creme Yvette
1 tsp Simple syrup
Shake and serve up in a port glass.
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