As an eight year recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and home to an extensive signature martini menu, Marie Nicole’s seemed liked the perfect place to start the quest for this week’s drink of the week. I had heard rave reviews about the “Marie Nicole” Rita, but had to investigate for myself. Greeted by head bartender Robert Marlin, I took a seat at the beautiful marble bar and awaited my very own “Marie Nicole” Rita. Minutes later, I was sure that the search was over. Much more drinkable than the average margarita, this Marie Nicole exclusive was considerably smoother. Without the finishing acid bite of a standard margarita, the “Marie Nicole” Rita makes the salted rim unnecessary.
Patron, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, fresh sour mix, and St. Germain, the crucial secret ingredient, are shaken and poured to create this sublime cocktail that as bartender Robert describes as “unlike any other”. St. Germain, responsible for the “Marie Nicole” Rita’s superior smoothness, is a sweet liqueur crafted in the artisanal French style from elderberry flowers. Its unusual flavor has been reckoned as containing elements of peach, orange, grapefruit, and pear. This Parisian-born liqueur “cleans up” this week’s drink of the week, bartender Robert explains.
For another taste of the St. Germain sweetness, sample the Marie Nicole Martini. Grey goose pear, St. Germain, pear puree, ginger puree, a splash of orange juice, and a splash of Canton, a ginger lemon liqueur, are shaken to create this clean, refreshing signature martini. Served in a chilled glass, this martini achieves the “perfect medium” of crisp sweetness, and its pear flavor is a rare treat.
By Megan Kummer