Coat of Armor:
1.5 oz gin (Bluecoat)
.75 oz. Pelinkovac
.75 oz. Lemon juice
.5 oz. and a dash Cherry Heering
1 egg white
Cherry bark vanilla bitters (Bittercube)
Shake all ingredients without ice to get fluffy egg-white foam. Shake all ingredients with ice. Double strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with bitters and lemon zest.
While working with Pelinkovac in previous cocktails, we thought it would make a good flavor pairing with cherry, hence the inspiration for this drink. The juniper heavy, American-made Bluecoat Gin seemed a worthy candidate to stand aside the bold bitter. Usually the farther from London you are, the less pronounced the juniper, but this Philadelphia company doesn't tame things down for the American palate, though this isn't to say that it's harsh (especially considering it's 94 proof) or single note, as there are rich citrus and herbal tones, gentian and citrus zest are most predominant with hints of cardamom and other botanicals
In our first attempt, we omitted the egg white, but the Pelinkovac was a bit astringent and dry on the finish, probably aided a bit by the high proof gin. The egg white proved to soften and round out the flavors for what we considered a more successful cocktail. There was a citrus cherry sweetness on the nose, juniper forward sip, a tart citrus and herbal wormwood/angelica/gentian bitterness on the swallow, with the extra dash of Cherry Heering keeping the bitterness from overpowering the drink. Bitter drink-lovers may choose to keep the Cherry Heering at a 1/2 oz. The citrus makes this cocktail lighter than other bitter (but delicious) drinks like the Negroni, making the Coat of Armor a good intro to Pelinkovac.