How to Make a Royal Daiquiri
Victor "Trader Vic" Bergeron once said "The main reason for having a lot of liquor is to show off." You know what? He's exactly right. We bar folk tend to be show-offs, whether through technical drink expertise, or good old extroversion.
JK Grence So the drink itself is closer to grey than purple. Who cares? It's still amazing.
Either way, bartenders often have very impressive home bars. It's fun to go to a fellow bartender's house and see what oddities they've collected. I have a couple of lulus in my collection. There's a Lapsang Souchong tea liqueur (tastes like drinking a burning lumber yard), a delicious French passionfruit spirit called Passoã (pity you can't find it in any liquor store within 300 miles), and quite a few others that I can't (or won't) name for one reason or another.
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One of my favorite of these oddball liqueurs is Parfait Amour. It's an odd duck, to be sure. For starters, it's one of the only purple spirits available. Second, the flavor is like nothing else out there. It starts with a curaçao (orange flavor) base, then adds other botanicals. Formulations vary, but the most common formulations include vanilla, almonds, and rose. The flavor is hard to pin down, but someone came close when they said it reminds them of purple jelly beans.
With the color, the flavor, and a name that translates to "perfect love", you'd expect Parfait Amour to be a genteel, demure spirit. Nothing could be further from the truth. Parfait Amour is the Tim Curry of the liquor shelf. If you want it to be part of an ensemble, you have to keep the reins very tight, or it's going to run rampant and steal the show.
JK Grence See? Purple!
Or, you can do what hardly anyone does with it, and let it take center stage. Don the Beachcomber did exactly that in the 1950s with the Royal Daiquiri. The Royal follows the classic Margarita formula of base spirit, orange liqueur, and tart citrus. Trust me when I say that half an ounce of Parfait Amour is letting it take center stage. If you add much more than that, the rum and lime get forced into hiding.
Before we get to the recipe, I have a cool trick to show you from my tiki bar days: flash blending. Despite the tiki drink's image as a huge drink served in a ceramic mug with an umbrella sticking out of it, there are several sophisticated tiki cocktails served straight up. This is one of them. You can shake the drink with ice and strain, but it's better to blend the drink for just a few seconds, and then strain out the ice with a fine-mesh strainer. The finest ice crystals get through the strainer, giving your drink an especially enjoyable extra chill.
½ ounce lime juice
1 small dash simple syrup
½ ounce Parfait Amour
1 ½ ounces light rum
½ cup crushed ice (or ¾ cup ice cubes)
Blend everything at high speed in a blender for five seconds. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a champagne coupe or cocktail glass.