101 Best New Cocktails, 2012: CJ750 by Pablo Toledo, Cvrve, Shanghai

by Gaz Regan · Sunday, September 23rd, 2012 · 101 Best New Cocktails, 101 Best New Cocktails 2012


Adapted from a recipe by Pablo Toledo, Cvrve, Shanghai.

“I came up with this modern twist of the Sidecar, that’s why the name. Here in Shanghai we have a big French and European colony, they like this motorbike called CJ750. That is also a similar version of the sidecar motorbike. So in the streets you always see one a day, it became a popular bike around here.

Cognac and orange is a great combination. And what better to enhance the orange flavor and help with the sweetness than Cointreau? The rest comes by itself. The fresh orange, the elderflower notes thanks to the syrup and the cloves as aromatic garnish that helps with the nose and match with the clove flavor of the Jerry Thomas bitters. Is a must try. The fresh orange juice and the mint help to power the concept of a refreshing cocktail by the look and the aroma. The cognac glass feels powerful in the hand. The whole experience and the why of the cocktail makes it very attractive. I hope you like it.” Pablo Toledo.

40 ml (1.33 oz) Hennessey VSOP cognac

15 ml (.5 oz) Cointreau

10 ml (.33 oz) Monin elderflower syrup

40 ml (1.33 oz) orange juice

1 dash The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter bitters

1 orange wheel studded with 5 cloves, as garnish

Mint sprig, as garnish

Put the ingredients together and shake nicely but not hard. We don’t want much air in this one. Place the orange wheel with the cloves (which represent the stars of the CJ750 motorbike) in a chilled cognac glass. Double-strain and finish with the mint sprig and a short straw to make the nose get close to the mint, is very important you do that. It will give a more fresh cocktail final perception with those aromas.

gaz sez: I’m a real sucker for aromatic garnishes, and the mingling of cloves, oranges, and mint in this drink comes together really nicely. And these fragrances meet a beautifully balanced cocktail in the throat, with the Jerry Thomas’ bitters bringing a fabulous complexity to the party. It’s also nice to see that our bartender brothers and sisters in China are doing such a great job. I gotta find a way to get there one of these days. Thanks, Pablo—you done yourself proud.

This is one of 2012’s 101 Best New Cocktails.

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Click HERE to order 101 Best New Cocktails 2012

Click HERE to order the Annual Manual for Bartenders: 2012.

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