It’s February, which means that one of the most amazing flowers on earth is now in season. There is nothing quite like the delicate scent of the tulip, so soft that it is difficult to detect unless you put your nose right up against the petals and make a point of taking it in. People may tell you to take time to stop and smell the roses, but give me a tulip over a rose any day. Not only is it beautiful and varied in it’s many colors and patterns, but it also changes dramatically as it opens, revealing a dark center and intriguing stamen and pistil which reach out toward you like some kind of SETI beacon from a Dr. Seuss-like microverse.
My latest creation is an ode to the tulip. I tried to capture the subtle beauty of the flower while also creating a well-balanced and refreshing drink that will open up as you sip it. Enjoy!
2 oz. Plymouth gin (this soft style gin is the best choice so as not to overwhelm the other flavors, like a more juniper-forward gin might do)
3/4 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. St. Germaine
1/2 oz. Aperol
2 dashes grapefruit bitters
1 dash orange bitters
Note: if you find this a little too bitter or sour for your taste I would recommend adding 1/4 oz or so of a honey simple syrup.
(Postscript: I once received this note along with a bouquet from a beau: Tulips for you, until you have mine again – D. The relationship was doomed to fail but I never forgot that bit of sweetness.)