New Fashioned: Black Sheep's truffle old fashioned
Admittedly, truffles – not the candy, but rather the subterranean fungi – are an acquired taste, with a pungent, earthy aroma. You likely either love 'em or hate 'em.
I love 'em, which likely explains why I love the Truffle Old Fashioned on offer at Black Sheep, 216 S. 2nd St., in Walker's Point.
Made with truffle oil and Belle de Brillet pear liqueur, this unique cocktail has a heavy truffle nose, but that earthy flavor is extremely subtle on the palate. It also has a gorgeous golden hue.
The drink was concocted by managers Ilana Cohn-Gomez and Steve Frame, says Black Sheep co-owner Mike Sorge.
"It is definitely one of our more popular and interesting cocktails to date," Sorge says.
I asked Cohn-Gomez about how the idea germinated.
"Our chef at the time, Adam Pawlak, was hosting a truffle dinner with Joe Muench of Black Shoe hospitality," she recalls. "Steve, Mike and I worked on drink pairings. We decided to try a couple of cocktails along with pairing wines.
"We spent a lot of time testing out different recipes. Most of them were flops. We ended up using a book called 'The Flavor Bible' (by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg) to look up flavor profiles for truffles and came across pear."
Fortunately, Cohn-Gomez says, Black Sheep had just gotten a bottle of the Belle de Brillet pear liqueur, which is a blend of Williams pears and Petite Champagne Cognac – that week.
Voila! A cocktail that is not only at home on a special truffle menu, but on a coaster in front of anyone interested in a unique take on an Old Fashioned.
"I love the truffle old fashioned," says Cohn-Gomez. "It tastes delicious and it was a fun collaboration."
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