The Jupiter Cocktail is a strange color, both blue in hue but turning into a gray depending on the lighting conditions; overall though, the drink is rather good.
While I’m referring to the recipe provided in Craddock’s Savoy, Ted Haigh notes that this drink comes most probably from Harry McElhone’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails, which was published seven years prior Craddock’s, putting the drinks origin around 1923 instead of 1930 (Haigh 179-180). The drink itself is a simple combination of gin with dry vermouth accented by a couple other ingredients, which provide floral notes. The juice, which usually in a drink provides citrus flavor, does nothing more than provide a bit of floral accentuation on the nose, whilst assisting and accenting the aroma of the Parfait Amour. Haigh notes that this drink requires exceptionally exact measurements, and this is partially true, since the drink does not necessarily lend itself to having too much floral notes nor too little accentuation.
Parfait Amour is something which is many times associated with femininity, is another liqueur with connotations of love or lovers, the liqueur is a deep violet or purple in nature, and varies quite a bit in flavor depending upon the manufacturer. The most similar thing to it would be creme de violet or Creme Yvette. Perfect love, according to Peter Hallgarten, an expert on liqueurs, says it has its’ color come from creme de Violette and provides flavor through a citrus base with the addition of extra spices to give it a bit of a flowery notes from cinnamon petals as well as peach pits (which is used in creme de noyeaux, which is an apricot / peach pit flavored liqueur that has nut notes) for added complexity (Jackson 97). Personally, Marie Brizard who makes the most readily available version of Parfait Amour in the states, is perhaps particularly suited to this cocktail seeing as how it has the wonderful nose of oranges (just as Hallgarten suggests with citrus orientations in the liqueur).
While the recipes for this drink call for shaking it, I personally like to just stir it, because there is so little juice that it keeps the cocktail rather clear, and doesn’t provide much aeration to the delicate vermouth. However, shaking versus stirring this drink does provide a quicker experience, and ensures that the cocktail is diluted well enough, something which is always contentious when stirring a drink. However, in either case, the drink will not be perfectly clear because of the nature of the Parfait Amour’s high sugar content, and the inclusion of the small amount of juice. So really, it is a choice that you, as a bartender, can make when mixing up this drink.
Furthermore, I find that a sweeter or earthier gin works wonders in this drink; a London Dry still makes for a good drink, but replace it with Bols Genever, or replace it with any other Genevieve or Old Tom Gin and you have something absolutely fantastic, blending the flavors of the juniper more appropriately with the floral; if you want to stick with a London Dry, go with something like G’Vine, which is an extremely fruit driven gin, or Beefeater 24, whose tea notes work well with the overall floral notes of the Parfait Amour.
This cocktail has a wonderful nose, so a taller or over-sized cocktail glass which helps capture the nose works wonderfully for the drink. Something like a Champagne flute, or a nosing glass works quite well for this purpose. If desired, you can also augment the aromatic nature of the orange by expressing the oils of an orange twist into the glass, keeping the drink smelling quite wonderful while enjoying it and pulling out the floral notes further.
1 1/2 ounce gin
3/4 ounce dry vermouth
1 teaspoon Parfait Amour
1 teaspoon orange juice
Combine the ingredients in a shaker tin, shaking well and straining after chilling into a cocktail glass.
Craddock, Henry. 1999. The Savoy Cocktail Book. Originally published 1930. London: Pavilion Books.
Haigh, Ted. 2009. Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: From the Alamagoozlum to the Zombie and Beyond. Beverly, Massachusetts: Quarry Books.
Jackson, Michael. 1995. Michael Jackson’s Bar and Cocktail Companion: The Connoisseur’s Handbook. Originally published 1979. Philadelphia: Running Press.