Three Times the Vine

Fourth-place winner in Imbibe‘s Metaxa Cocktail Competition, April 2009. This refreshing sparkler from Charles Joly nicely highlights the herbal and floral notes of the Metaxa 5-Star.

1 1/2 oz. Metaxa 5-Star brandy
1/2 oz. Samos wine (sweet Greek wine made from Muscat grapes)
3/4 oz. chamomile syrup (recipe below)
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz dry sparkling white wine (Joly uses Prosecco)
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: white wine
Garnish: three grapes threaded onto a long lemon curl

Combine the Metaxa, wine, chamomile syrup and lemon juice in shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a glass. Float the sparkling wine on top and garnish.

Chamomile Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup unrefined sugar
4 bags high-quality chamomile tea

Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan and heat on high until sugar dissolves. While still hot, steep tea in 12 oz. of the syrup for 20 minutes. Strain the teabags and allow mixture to cool. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Charles Joly, Chicago