We love all of our botanical distillates out here at Matchbook. The potent cardamom, the zesty lemongrass, warm numbing of the peppercorn. There are two, though, that hold a special place in our bouquet of spirits. Both floral and finessed, jasmine and ylang ylang require subtle approach when mixed.
Made with fresh jasmine, macerated overnight and then distilled in our 100 gallon still, Love is as billed, pure flora. A curious discovery from an R&D day, it turns out that jasmine mingles well with our shochu, specifically of kasu. This revelation allowed me to indulge a little bit of travel nostalgia and recall one of my favorite drinks from one of my favorite restaurants in the world, Tatemichiya, a punck rock izakaya in Tokyo. Shochu, soda, citric acid, and grapefruit peel, one of the simplest mixes ever to deliver a bonkers amount of flavor. A subtle twist I snuck in some jasmine, closed my eyes and imagined eating seared avocado and cabbage with chili oil, staring through a smokey room at a Ramones poster.
Ylang Ylang an intense tree flower native to southeast Asia, used in perfumes and oils, warrants a slightly more robust approach. With a stirred drink to match it's green pepper meets banana tropical fragrance, I leaned in. Banana liqueur, Cap Corse Quina, and Peychaud's bitters. A cherry for good measure.
Personally, I have been looking forward to this release for a while now, both as a reward to you look-lefters, but also, selfishly, so I could sip these mixes.
1.5 ounces Love
.5 ounce Shochu (preferably from rice)
1/3 teaspoon of Citric Acid
Long Grapefruit peel
2 ounces of Essential
.75 ounces Cap Corse
.25 Giffard Banane
2 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
Stir, Luxardo Cherry Garnish