Drink of the Day — The Quebec Blossom


Today’s drink of the day is the Quebec Blossom.  It is found in the 1934 book, The Pioneers of Mixing At Elite Bars by the American Traveling Mixologists.

I love this drink, but two things have kept me from putting here before — the liqueur and the proportion.

Domestic apricot-flavored brandy liqueur just isn’t good enough for me to recommend it.  Ideally, an apricot-flavored brandy liqueur should be of the same sort of quality as Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge (orange-flavored brandy liqueur), but with natural apricot flavor instead of orange.  Nothing at that quality is produced, anywhere.  A good apricot-flavored brandy liqueur can be composed by mixing equal parts of Cognac brandy and crème d’abricot from France.  The only commercially-produced apricot-flavored brandy liqueur that I know of that is any good at all is Marie Brizard Apry.  Just be sure to get the more-rare 60-proof bottle instead of the more-common 41-proof bottle.  At anything under 60-proof, you just won’t get the flavor of the brandy coming through the way that I feel it should in a flavored brandy liqueur.

I found it really hard to recommend a proportion between the spirit and the liqueur in this drink.  For one thing, if you the most common varieties of grapefruit today, the drink will not need much sweetness at all.  But, using less liqueur, while cutting down on the sweetness, means less apricot flavor.  If you can find the heirloom Marsh or Duncan varieties of grapefruit, with their traditional bittersweet flavor, you can use a lot more liqueur in this.  If so, you will find that the richness of flavor from the heirloom grapefruit and the apricot and the whisky combine to make a delicious drink.  The only proportion that I do not like at all is the one that the American Traveling Mixologists recommended — 7:1.  So, my recommendations would be as follows; with heirloom grapefruit use 1 fluid-ounce each of the whisky and the apricot-flavored brandy liqueur, with red or pink grapefruits use 1-1/2 fluid-ounces of the whisky and 1/2 fluid-ounce of the liqueur.  Don’t bother at all with the following varieties of grapefruit, Melogold, Cocktail or Oro Blanco (not really a grapefruit) — they are all just too sweet and thin of flavor.  If you do use red or pink grapefruit and are willing to add a couple of dashes of grapefruit bitters, then the drink will work in the 1:1 proportion.

Good luck and don’t give up.  This drink is really great if you get the right combination of quality liqueur and heirloom grapefruit.  Here is the recipe:

Quebec Blossom

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