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Layered Cocktails

July 4, 2013

The first time I'd ever heard of a Pousse Café was while watching a soap opera. A character meant to be a lady who lunched was trying to seduce someone (her bodyguard, her daughter's husband? I don't recall) with two perfectly layered cocktails. Her intended love target had never had one, but he succumbed to her drink and later, her charms. The strange name always stuck in the back of my head, and when years later I spied a Pousse Café layering tool for 25 cents at a garage sale, I bought it. Layered cocktails aren't just for soap-opera characters. Fussy, but fun, these drinks easily impress. They rely on the maker having a rough understanding of the weights of the ingredients in question (or the ability to follow instructions). The heaviest ingredient is carefully poured into the glass first, followed by the next heaviest, and so on until the rainbow is achieved. Before layering tools like that made by Vacu Vin, shown above, bartenders had to carefully pour the liqueur over a spoon in the same way you'd make a Black and Tan. You can still use a spoon, but the layering tool is worth it if you make a lot of these drinks. Fireworks, a gem from House & Garden, is a lovely drink for the Fourth as its seven layers mirror the festivities in the night sky. Recipes to try: -Fireworks -Pousse-Café No. 1 Do you have a favorite layered cocktail? (Photo: Sara Bonisteel)

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