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Barrel and Board’s Q.U.E.E.N.: named after Janelle Monae/Eryka Badu song

Like a French 75 with a soft purple hue

Q.U.E.E.N.
Q.U.E.E.N.
MoeGirton

“All our drinks are named after songs by strong, fabulous women,” says Moe Girton of Barrel & Board’s cocktail menu, which I note doubles as a fire playlist. I hit play on drink/song number one, Q.U.E.E.N. by Janelle Monae & Eryka Badu. “It’s a take — a twist — on a French 75,” says Girton. “It’s one of my favorite cocktails. It’s like my go-to.”

Unlike the classic, this version has a soft purple hue. “It’s made with Empress gin, which is a gin that has butterfly pea powder in it. So it reacts with citrus or PH balance, and it turns fuschia pink. And then we use a crème de violette, which is dark purple, so you still get that real purple color with it. It’s just a beautiful drink, and then with the begonias...” Girton trails off as she places a posy of pink edible flowers that dangle over the rim of the delicate coupe glass. Then she adds, “Begonia’s got a real lemon zest flavor that complements the cocktail.”

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Sponsored

Girton goes more in-depth, describing the drink’s makeup. “Empress gin is not too overwhelming in botanicals. It’s great to use in cocktails, because it can be mixed with other things and it doesn’t overpower. Then we put it with the violette, which is a beautiful floral liqueur that goes with the gin.” She even suggests the Q.U.E.E.N. as an alternative option for those who typically prefer vodka. “You know what the great thing about this cocktail is? It’s very beginner-friendly for gin drinks. It’s definitely made with botanicals, but it’s not like BAM, it smacks you across the face. It’s a little more of a smoother gin in that way.”

House-made demerara syrup and Perricone Farms cold-pressed lemon juice add to the mix. “And then we top it with a fabulous Ruffino Prosecco — it has smaller bubbles” than some sparklers, she notes. The difference is subtle but impactful. “Because Prosecco is made in stainless steel unlike Champagne, it’s just got a lighter, crisper, more refreshing taste. Versus, say, a Brut, which will sometimes have a sourdough taste, and that does overpower.” For this particular cocktail, “the Prosecco adds that perfect touch… and a little bubbles. I like a little bubbles.”

This is not the only version of a French 75 that Girton’s got in her repertoire, “because at its base, it’s a good classic cocktail. You can’t go wrong — it’s refreshing, it’s light, it’s gentle, and for being in a coupe, it’s not so liquor-forward. It’s definitely approachable, manageable, and poundable.”

Barrel&Board
  • BARREL & BOARD’S
  • Q.U.E.E.N.
  • 2 oz Empress gin
  • ¼ oz Giffard crème de violette
  • ½ oz organic cold-pressed lemon juice
  • ¼ oz demerara syrup
  • Ruffino Prosecco
  • Combine all ingredients except prosecco in a mixing tin with ice, shake and strain into a coupe glass. Top with prosecco. Garnish with edible begonia flowers.
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Q.U.E.E.N.
Q.U.E.E.N.
MoeGirton

“All our drinks are named after songs by strong, fabulous women,” says Moe Girton of Barrel & Board’s cocktail menu, which I note doubles as a fire playlist. I hit play on drink/song number one, Q.U.E.E.N. by Janelle Monae & Eryka Badu. “It’s a take — a twist — on a French 75,” says Girton. “It’s one of my favorite cocktails. It’s like my go-to.”

Unlike the classic, this version has a soft purple hue. “It’s made with Empress gin, which is a gin that has butterfly pea powder in it. So it reacts with citrus or PH balance, and it turns fuschia pink. And then we use a crème de violette, which is dark purple, so you still get that real purple color with it. It’s just a beautiful drink, and then with the begonias...” Girton trails off as she places a posy of pink edible flowers that dangle over the rim of the delicate coupe glass. Then she adds, “Begonia’s got a real lemon zest flavor that complements the cocktail.”

Sponsored
Sponsored

Girton goes more in-depth, describing the drink’s makeup. “Empress gin is not too overwhelming in botanicals. It’s great to use in cocktails, because it can be mixed with other things and it doesn’t overpower. Then we put it with the violette, which is a beautiful floral liqueur that goes with the gin.” She even suggests the Q.U.E.E.N. as an alternative option for those who typically prefer vodka. “You know what the great thing about this cocktail is? It’s very beginner-friendly for gin drinks. It’s definitely made with botanicals, but it’s not like BAM, it smacks you across the face. It’s a little more of a smoother gin in that way.”

House-made demerara syrup and Perricone Farms cold-pressed lemon juice add to the mix. “And then we top it with a fabulous Ruffino Prosecco — it has smaller bubbles” than some sparklers, she notes. The difference is subtle but impactful. “Because Prosecco is made in stainless steel unlike Champagne, it’s just got a lighter, crisper, more refreshing taste. Versus, say, a Brut, which will sometimes have a sourdough taste, and that does overpower.” For this particular cocktail, “the Prosecco adds that perfect touch… and a little bubbles. I like a little bubbles.”

This is not the only version of a French 75 that Girton’s got in her repertoire, “because at its base, it’s a good classic cocktail. You can’t go wrong — it’s refreshing, it’s light, it’s gentle, and for being in a coupe, it’s not so liquor-forward. It’s definitely approachable, manageable, and poundable.”

Barrel&Board
  • BARREL & BOARD’S
  • Q.U.E.E.N.
  • 2 oz Empress gin
  • ¼ oz Giffard crème de violette
  • ½ oz organic cold-pressed lemon juice
  • ¼ oz demerara syrup
  • Ruffino Prosecco
  • Combine all ingredients except prosecco in a mixing tin with ice, shake and strain into a coupe glass. Top with prosecco. Garnish with edible begonia flowers.
Sponsored
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