Bright, sassy, sweet, with a little spice. This new drink was easy to name.
The Lila Cocktail
2 oz Square One Botanical Spirit
1 oz black pepper syrup
.5 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur
.5 oz lemon juice
Shake with ice. Serve up in chilled cocktail glass.
(The syrup is easy: 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar - it's nice with brown sugar to give some color & extra flavor, and 15 or so black peppercorns. Boil 5 minutes, cool, then store in a glass jar in the fridge. Splash in an ounce of vodka to preserve it if you won't use it up in the next week or two.)
This was the second try coming up with a new drink to use Square One Botanical, which they introduced this April but we first tasted this month. It's a tricky ingredient for us because fruit-centric, sweeter cocktails are not our default territory. It is described as "certified organic neutral grain spirit (made from 100% organic American rye) infused with 8 organic botanicals: pear, rose, chamomile, lemon verbena, lavender, rosemary, coriander and citrus peel" and the pear is most definitely the dominant flavor note.
Imagine gin if instead of juniper you had pear. That's not quite it, really, there's more going on, but it's close and certainly closer than "pear flavored vodka" as a descriptor.
As with all the Square One varieties, it comes in that lovely square bottle with the nice indent making it easy to grip. Very pleasing design and very handy for re-use.
The Lila makes a good bottled cocktail, just mix up everything but the lemon juice and keep it in the fridge. Fresh squeeze the lemon when you shake up your drink and you're all set.
We're looking forward to getting another bottle (thanks for the sample, Square One!) and trying this again. As the lack of cocktail pictures might suggest, we drank it all up after creating the drink for a dinner party. We suspect, like Lila herself, it would take well to a bit of the bubbly. Please do let us know in the comments if you try out a Lila Collins with soda water or an Empress Lila with a champagne float.