Distant Afternoon at Fore Street
I constantly seek interesting cocktails that combine some of my favorite spirits, such as tequila, in new and creative ways. Dining at Fore Street, which specializes in locally sourced and hand-crafted food in Portland, I came across a unique combination of flavors in their Distant Afternoon cocktail. The innovative mixologists at Fore Street are combining Reposado Tequila, Yellow Chartreuse, Punt e Mes, lemon juice, and agave to create an unlikely flavor for a tequila-based cocktail.
Before ordering the cocktail, I had to educate myself on a few of the ingredients- Punt e Mes and Yellow Chartreuse. Punt e Mes (pronounced poont-eh-mess) is an Italian vermouth from Piemonte that is a dark brown in color and has a bitter flavor. It has the body and the rich sweetness of a classic sweet vermouth, but a more substantial bitter, herbal backbone. Yellow Chartreuse is milder and sweeter than the famous Green Chartreuse, with a bright aroma, and an herbal flavor with hints of mint and anise.
Combining Punt e Mes and Green Chartreuse with Tequila may seem an unlikely combination here, but the herbal-bitter Punt e Mes with a reposado tequila’s earthy, but sweet, peppery flavor created a sophisticated, but still refreshing version of a strong margarita. The Distant Afternoon paired well with the local, fresh Maine oysters we started off our night with combining the earthy alcoholic flavors from Mexico, Italy, and France, with the coastal, Atlantic flavors of Maine.