I was recently strolling the aisles of Whole Foods, and somewhere between the sushi nori and the instant palak paneer, I found bottles of rose water and orange flower water. Now, I recently attended a cocktail-making seminar at the Astor Center in NYC, and one of the cocktails discussed was the bartender's favourite, the Ramos Gin Fizz, a critical ingredient of which is, of course, orange flower water. In addition, people close to me have, recently, begun to sing the praises of a cocktail called the Gershwin cocktail, a Little Branch bartender creation containing rose water.
Now, eggy-creamy drinks are, for me, a once-in-a-blue-moon sort of affair. And the Gershwin is, in my humble opinion, somewhat unimaginative, with the rose water dominating the flavours of the other ingredients. I think that's a risk generally with making drinks with these floral elements.
My solution is to take an inspiration from the Penicillin cocktail, which features an ingredient whose sole purpose is to stimulate the olfactory sense, which is probably somewhat neglected in the cocktail world. So, for this cocktail, you'll need to be able to make very large ice cubes, which will stand taller than the liquid in the glass.
The Smooth Call
2oz gin (I'd suggest Plymouth or Beefeater)
1oz St. Germain
1/2 oz simple syrup
Juice of 1/3 lemon
Combine all ingredients and stir briskly. Strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube. Float 1 capfull of orange flower water.
This is probably a work in progress, so I may alter this somewhat. I'm also not really all that into St. Germain cocktails. They're just a little light for my taste. But if you're into that flavour, this is a nice one, with the floral elements of the St. Germain on your tastebuds interacting with the orange flower nose.