While traveling abroad last fall, my parents picked up quite the unique souvenir for me: a bottle of seaweed bitters from the Jameson’s Distillery in Dublin, Ireland. It was the most perfect gift. The real question was what to do with it.
To give you an idea of what these bitters are like, the best
way to describe them is “briny.” I guess that shouldn’t be a shocker since
seaweed lives in the ocean. I did what the bottle recommended and added a drop
of the bitters to a dram of near Irish whiskey and tasted. I wouldn’t say it
was bad, it’s just that it sort of just made the whisky taste saltier. At least
that gave me an idea for how it could affect the taste of a drink.
That poor little bottle sat on the shelf for a couple of
months before I could think of a way to use them. I decided to try them with
cognac since cognac is also aged, but typically sweeter. I also pulled out a
bottle of Génépy, which I was hoping would add some herbaceous green-ness to
the drink to balance out the salty seaweed bitters. For smoothness, a bit of
Not every drink can be a winner on the first go, but I
really feel like I nailed this one. I first made the drink by using the Génépy
to rinse the glass, but I really wanted more. So that’s how we ended up with
the bar spoon. As I mentioned before, cognac is already pretty sweet, so
starting with the teaspoon of simple syrup was a good play.
As for the name, I really wracked my brain on this one. It
needed a sexy name to go with the cognac, and somehow also needed to pay homage
to the seaweed bitters. Since mermaids are SO HOT right now, I decided to see
if there were any Irish mermaids. Turns out there are, and they’re called