American Beauty – Recipe from David Embury’s ‘The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks’

1 part French Vermouth

1 part Grenadine

1 part White Creme de Menthe

1 part Orange Juice 

4 parts Cognac 

Shake well with crushed ice. Float i teaspoonful claret on top of each drink. 

This drink is sometimes served in a tall glass filled with crushed ice and is then called American Beauty Punch. (See page 272.)

Before Kevin Spacey Weinsteined his way through Hollywood on the back of the film of the same name the American Beauty referred to a famous rose, hence that scene.

It originally had the catchy name ‘Madame Ferdinand Jamin’, who was undoubtedly a little vexed when it was renamed after that upstart colony on the other side of the pond by a less than scrupulous purveyor of roses, it was however a much better and lasting name and for a while was the only rose anyone was planting and selling in the US.

The drink is a strange one, mint, orange juice, red wine is not a combination you see anywhere, ever and to be honest I was a little apprehensive about firstly my ability to float red wine on top of a drink like this, and secondly if it would be drinkable. I stand corrected on both fronts.

I’ve always found it tricky floating wine on a New York Sour, it always seems to drop into the drink, this worked fairly well however and I guess gives the drink the big splash of red it needs to tie in with the rose.

And the drink itself was actually damn good. There are some redundancies, the grenadine could just be sugar, and the vermouth is a little hidden under the wine, juice and cognac. I’m a little surprised its French vermouth and not Italian as well, as the colours and flavours I think would tie in better.

Well worth trying.