When Doves Cry

Photo by Susan Whitney.

When Doves Cry


1.25 oz Armagnac [I used Marie Duffau Napoléon Bas Armagnac.]
1.25 oz Crème de Violette [I used Rothman & Winter.]
.5 oz Amontillado Medium Sherry [I used Savory & James Deluxe Medium Sherry Amontillado.]
1.5 oz whole milk

Add ingredients  to an ice-filled shaker in order listed to prevent milk from curdling, shake vigorously, then strain into a chilled rocks glass with either one large or two standard ice cubes.

Garnish with grated nutmeg and crushed candied violets.

I was enduring a long layover at the Denver International Airport last Friday when news broke of Prince’s death. It spread like wildfire. Everywhere around me, people jumped on their cellphones to call their best friends and express their disbelief. It’s odd how many took such a great talent for granted. Maybe he made it look too easy.

A cocktail might seem an odd tribute to a teetotaler, but Prince struck me as a live-and-let-live kind of guy, and cocktails are how I communicate.

In addition to being an incredible musician, Prince was undeniably one sexy mother fucker, and, to me, there is no sexier spirit than armagnac. Throw in “Cream” from Prince’s 1991 Album Diamonds and Pearls, and I started thinking of a twist on a Brandy Milk Punch, a traditional New Orleans cocktail. Instead of flavoring it with vanilla extract and sweetening it with simple syrup, I subbed in Crème de Violette, a sweet, low-octane liqueur with the color and flavor of violets, as an ode to Purple Rain, an album that formed the backbone of my high school soundtrack. Finally, to add a little of that funk we all loved in Prince’s songs, I mixed in a bit of Amontillado Sherry. I topped it with the traditional milk punch garnish of grated nutmeg and added crushed candied violets.

Photo by Susan Whitney.

When building your cocktail, be sure to add the milk last. Doing so earlier, or adding any more alcohol, will cause the milk to curdle. Then shake it, strain it into a chilled rocks glass over one large or two standard ice cubes, and party like it’s 1999.


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