About this Cocktail
I ran across a cocktail recipe called an Olympic Cocktail. The ingredients were generic brandy, triple sec, and a bit of orange juice. The flavors sounded interesting, but I decided to ramp it up a bit - give it an original Olympian vibe and increase the ingredient quality and flavor profile.
Metaxa is a Greek specialty liqueur created in 1888 that is a blend of Greek origin grape brandy, Greek Muscat wine, and a proprietary Mediterranean herbal infusion that contains, among other things, rose petals. For this cocktail I use the 7 stars Metaxa. It comes in 3, 5, 7, and 12 stars, the stars representing years of aging in French Limosin oak barrels of the base brandy. The 5 star could do as an alternative, but probably not the 3 star, and the 12 star is really a reserve bottling that is best saved for sipping neat or on the rocks. Metaxa has an off-dry, dusky, herbal, floral taste and nose, fairly complex. Smelling and tasting it with my eyes closed conjures images of brilliant blue skies and whitewashed homes on the Greek islands, with hillsides covered in wild herbs, and lazy days in the sun enjoying the distinctive tastes of the cuisine of that part of the world. Geographically, Mount Olympus is not in the islands, but rather to the north in Thessaly. No matter, naming cocktails is its own art, and my personal mental imagery doesn't need to be exactingly precise on a map.
Cointreau is the orange liqueur with the cleanest flavor notes, and a clear, dry character that most triple secs don't have. I played with the proportions a bit, added the signature Dale DeGroff flamed orange peel garnish, and Opa!
1.5 oz Metaxa 7 star (or 5 star in a pinch)
0.5 oz Cointreau
1 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
Orange peel round for garnish
In a shaker 2/3 filled with ice, combine Metaxa, Cointreau, and orange juice. Shake well, and fine strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze the orange peel round through a flaming match into the drink and drop into the drink.