Back in the fall, a friend invited me to hear Gustavo Dudamel speak about creativity at UCLA. Who would turn down such an invitation? Reader, I said yes. It was a lovely experience, and yet to be completely honest, the standout of the evening for me was the sublime cocktail I imbibed (two of) before the event, at the UCLA faculty dining center. I’m still not sure what drew me to it. For one thing, it’s pink (please!); for another, it’s flavored with rose (meh). But like a moth dive bombing a flame, when the server came around, I requested the Lady Rose .
There’s got to be some synergistic magic that happens in the mixing of this drink. The ingredients alone don’t sound particularly inspiring. But it was exquisite. An utter delight. Delicate, smooth, slightly sweet, and strong. I was hooked at a single sip. As was my friend. And her husband, a rather manly sort who ordinarily wouldn’t be caught dead drinking pink cocktails. We decided we’d need to replicate the Lady Rose on our own time. The next day, I looked up the UCLA faculty dining center menu online and realized that while the drink ingredients were listed, the measurements were not. Meanwhile, life marched on, and months went by. When my friends and I finally secured a dinner date, I promised I’d try my hand at replicating the Lady Rose.
A phone call to UCLA solved the mystery of the missing measurements and instructions. Next: where to even source the brand of rose liqueur used on campus? Many Google searches and awkward/frustrating phone calls later, I realized it would be impossible for me to purchase that brand, unless I were to open a liquor store or similar. Irked, I found what I hoped was a comparable brand at my local wine store, along with the other necessary ingredients. And then I used a mint-infused simple syrup. Probably too much of it. Was it an exact replica? No. Was it incredibly delicious? Yes. Did I have too many of them when my friends came over for dinner? Yes. Did Mr Manly have even more of them than I did? Yes.
No regrets. This is the cocktail you need.
The Lady Rose
(Adapted from UCLA’s Faculty Dining Center recipe)
- 1 oz. vodka
- .75 oz. rose liqeur
- .5 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon
- .25 oz. simple syrup
- 1.5 oz. prosecco
- lemon peel
- Combine ingredients (except lemon peel) in shaker with ice.
- Shake and strain into a champagne flute (or whatever glass you’ve got handy — I note that at UCLA mine arrived in a champagne coupe, while at home I served it in small wine glasses, because that’s what I have).
- Top with prosecco
- Garnish with lemon peel
Chin-chin. To your health.