A pretty epic name for a cocktail, wouldn’t you say? There’s a reason for it.
This beauty was invented out of rather dire circumstances by a well-known bartender from London’s Londsdale Bar named Charles Vexenat.
The PDT Cocktail Book notes that the Judgement Day was created by Vexenat as a thank you to a friend who helped him out of a “sticky situation”. The book doesn’t elaborate any further, but some additional online research reveals the full story. According to Difford’s Guide for Discerning Drinkers:
On 16th May 2008, superstar bartender Charles Vexenat was unjustly jailed in New Orleans during Tales of the Cocktail after Dre Masso (another famous mixologist) dropped a glass bottle in the Old Absinthe House. Fortunately for Charles he was saved a second day in the slammer by Melanie Asher, owner of Macchu Pisco, who bailed him out. This cocktail, created at PDT, New York City, is Charles’s tribute to Melanie.
Asher is CEO of Macchu Pisco, a company that produces premium Piscos. To show his gratitude for getting him out of jail, Vexenat set about creating a Pisco-based cocktail, but one that would be unique and much more complex. Thus, the aptly named Judgement Day was born.
True story. Melanie Asher confirmed it directly. It’s illegal to carry glass containers in the French Quarter. Regardless of the result, it’s a great reason to invent a cocktail!
Here’s a slight variation on the recipe found in PDT.
1 ½ oz Macchu Pisco
1 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
½ oz lime juice
½ oz lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup
1 egg white
2 dashes of St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram (alternatively, you can substitute with your favourite bitters)
Add all ingredients (except the Dram/bitters) into a cocktail shaker and dry-shake. Next, add ice and shake a second time. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with two dashes of Dram or choice of bitters.
If you’ve ever had a Pisco Sour before, you’ll feel right at home with this guy. But it’s the St. Germain that really gives this a unique, delicious flavour. It complements the egg white very nicely.
Just to note that the original recipe calls for the coupe to be rinsed with Absinthe, but I prefer it without.
I always love making cocktails with a unique story behind them. This one definitely has one. A great cocktail to make for someone you’d like to thank.