More X-Men (Gambit, Iceman)

Few weeks back I got a request for Gambit The Cocktail. Actually I’ve been ruminating about this character for quite a long time now, but nothing satisfactory never seemed to come out. When I received the request e-mail I decided it’s finally time to act, not just to ponder endlessly.

My guidelines for Gambit The Cocktail…

1. Remy Etienne LeBeau is from New Orleans, so I should introduce some “French Quarter Feel” to the drink.

2. How to represent his kinetic powers? Maybe the best way is to use alcohols that “move things around”… you know, the ones that creates a warm and “moving” sensation in your chest. Well, cognac is best candidate for the job, and it also matches “French Quarter Feel”.

3. Gambit’s hypnotic suggestion power has gotten much less attention among the readers (everyone is always talking about card-throwing), but I wanted to include that aspect to the cocktail as well.

4. How about the bo staff? Getting whacked with metal staff (or thrown card loaded with kinetic energy) is best represented with quick flash of strong alcohol…

…but cramming all this into one enjoyable cocktail seemed impossible, that’s the reason why this project has been delayed…

…and so I decided to design two drinks for Gambit. I hope you enjoy them.

 

gambit1

Yes, they’re DC cards… I’ve been ranting how much I hate “Marvel vs. DC”-bickering. They’re all superheroes; read the comic books, that’s what it’s all about, don’t waste your time with arguing about publishers. We’re all nerds, and proud of it! 😀

GAMBIT

Top layer, brown:

2 parts extra dry vermouth

1 part cognac

1 part Cointreau or Grand Marnier (or even Orange Curacao, for sweeter version)

Bottom layer, purple (couldn’t catch it in the pic, but it’s there and it’s beautiful IRL):

1 part Parfait Amour

1 part peach liqueur

(red grenadine, see below)

Shake bottom layer with ice and pour it into a cocktail glass. Stir brown layer with ice and layer on top of the purple layer (you can shake the brown layer, too, but it’ll look muddy for a while, until all the bubbles have dissipated). Add one small ice cube (I forgot that from the picture, sorry about that).

So… extra dry vermouth is, well, dry… and spicy. Combining it with cognac creates “a kinetic feel” in your mouth and chest, but a way too “raw”. Rounding it up with citrus liqueur creates a elegant cocktail (this is the man Rogue fell in love with)…

…but once you’ll work your way through the drink you’ll probably start to dislike the taste a bit… enter “hypnotic suggestion”. Peach liquer’s taste practically drowns the faint rose aroma of Parfait Amour, but the flower scent and vanilla taste still remain… truly a hypnotic experience…

…and since it “washes away” the accumulated dry spicyness from your taste buds, it works: “well, the end surprise was nice, I could have another one of these”. Talking about hypnotic suggestion! 😀

About purple colour… No, I couldn’t capture the purple colour in the picture, once again… but about the colour choice itself… you’re asking: “Gambit’s armour is more like magenta or pink-ish, what’s with the purple colour?”

Personally I think this colour is close enough, and it looks better with the brown top layer. If you really want more magenta-ish colour, add some red grenadine… and then you see that the contrast with the brown is too small, you’ll understand my decision to stick with the pure purple in Gambits I shake for myself and my Test Subjects.

Okay, guidelines one to three are there… how about number four, getting whacked with metal staff of thrown card? Please read on…

 

gambit2

YES! Finally I managed to capture the purple colour with my camera! 😀

GAMBIT (CARD TRICK)

Top layer, brown:

1 part cognac

1 part absinthe

dash of Peychaud’s bitters

Bottom layer, purple:

1 part Parfait Amour

1 part peach liqueur

Shake layers separately with ice and layer them into a shot glass, brown on top of the purple. Down with one shot, no sipping.

Sazerac is New Orleans’ Official Cocktail, so using it as a basis for Gambit Cocktail #2 seemed mandatory… since we’re looking for “whacked in the head”-sensation, I decided to combine Sazerac with Earthquake.

Earthquake, Tremblement de Terre, is attributed to Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, The Legendary Decadent French Artist. One part cognac, one part absinthe… in a wine goblet! Yup, he died because of his hopeless alcoholism (and because of syfilis, too)… but Earthquake has “whacking aspect” I’m looking for.

What you’ll feel when gulping this down… it punches you, it sure does. Cognac “kinetically moves” and warms your chest, while the anise of absinthe stirs every cell in your mouth… then there’s a little relief in the form of peach aroma… but it vanishes really quickly, leaving only the the aftertaste of strong alcohol and avalanche of anise in your mouth (and wormwood and other spices, depending on what kind of absinthe you’re using).

As you see, the purple bottom layer is exactly the same as in the first Gambit Cocktail… but in this case it doesn’t really serve “the hypnotic suggestion” purpose. The taste of peach offers some aid for your tortured taste buds, but the faint aroma of Parfait Amour is completely lost here; it only serves the thematic colour purpose.

So this is how it feels to be clubbed with Gambit’s metal bo staff or to be a target of his thrown cards. And now we’ll move onto the second X-Man…

 

iceman

ICEMAN

4 parts alcohol with strong anise taste (see below)

1 to 2 parts Blue Curacao

4 parts lime juice

6 parts simple syrup

8 parts cream

Shake vigorously with ice and strain into a suitable glass filled with crushed ice. Add some kind of a stirrer.

So, one more version of Mr. Freeze (Killer Frost and Asp being variations of it)… but Mr. Freeze is so endlessly popular among my Test Subjects, I seems OK to introduce variations of the theme. Summertime is still here, it’s hot, so we’ll need some cold drinks to cool us down.

I wanted Iceman to be even more cold than Mr. Freeze… fresh and “throat-clearing” anise is the answer. This drink works with eg. Pernod, but I personally prefer absinthe high with anise flavour, low in wormwood and other spices; those kind of absinthes tend to be more neutral in colour, so they don’t screw “the glacial look” of the drink.

Downside is that strong alcohol tends to curdle the cream if you enjoy your drink slowly; hence the stirrer. Also… Mr. Freeze and its variants are all highballs, but somehow I enjoy Iceman from a smaller glass: anise delivers a glacial feeling, but if the glass is too big the refreshing sensation turns into something not-so-enjoyable towards the end. And if the glass is smaller, it is digested more quickly; the cream doesn’t have a time to curdle.

 

So, those were today’s cocktails. I hope you’ll enjoy them 😀

 

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