Angel’s Cherry

Oh, boy, another pousse-café! Baker coyly states that the “title meaning is debatable.” Not really.

This is the first drink I’ve made that calls for Damiana, an herbal liqueur that takes its flavor in part from the damiana shrub. It is purportedly an aphrodisiac; as Baker puts it,

Damiana is alleged to possess certain properties which wise men have sought for many centuries, with greater or less result—mostly less…

Perhaps that’s why its bottle is shaped like a Rubenesque woman, adding a much-needed touch of 1970s bachelor-pad class to your liquor cabinet.

Baker claims you can buy Damiana “in any decent wine merchant’s shop,” but times have changed. If you’re in San Francisco, though, they stock it at Liquid Experience on Haight Street. Apparently BevMo! carries it, too, although I have yet to see it in an actual BevMo! store.

So, to make an Angel’s Cherry:

  • 1/3 Benedictine (1/2 oz)
  • 1/3 Damiana (1/2 oz)
  • 1/3 cognac (1/2 oz Park VSOP)
  • 1 tbsp cream

Layer the ingredients in a pousse-café glass in the order listed above. Top with a large red cherry.

This is actually a fairly tasty combination, I’m surprised and pleased to report. These three spirits play well together, and the cream helps to smooth everything out. Damiana is also quite tasty, with a mysterious combination of herbs and a slightly medicinal bite.

The Angel’s Cherry has a few problems, though. For starters, you need to add the cherry first, not last. Otherwise it just messes up the layers. Also, the cream didn’t want to stay above the cognac, which made the drink look rather gruesome. I tried adding the cream before the cognac, but it curdled horribly.

Overall, this isn’t a bad drink, but it certainly doesn’t live up to the aesthetic promise of a well-made pousse-café.

Angel's Cherry: ★★★☆☆ 

3 Responses to “Angel’s Cherry”

  1. Shelleth says:

    You’re not kidding about the layers.. That looks like a cherry floating in bacon grease.

  2. Alexandra M. says:

    The Damiana is a new one for me. Did you try making a margarita like its website advertising suggested?


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