It is summer in Los Angeles and you wouldn’t know it. The days are intermittently cool. Only occasionally does the sun rev up enough power to make a handful of the southern California city dwellers turn to shorts and summer dresses. I miss lush grass, thick sweet air, angry rainstorms and, oddly, the crown of sweat-soaked curls that twist at the nape of my neck on the hottest of days.
This summer holds nothing to the hot-house heat and lush green of the east coast. There are no lush green trees, heavy with sun-soaked leaves or grassy front yards so excited by the season’s heat they swell like miniature forests.
Here in the valley of a former desert, the change in season is miniscule. Palm trees are parched. Grass grows on borrowed water. Lawns are so manicured you could count every blade of grass from the standing position.
I need a back yard picnic to perk me up. Pronto.
Luckily, a pair of great friends are having a back yard party this weekend. I knew exactly what I needed to bring with me to perk me and the rest of my Southern California friends up: a chilled taste of summer in a glass.
Floc de Gascgone–a recent discovery thanks to a fellow restaurant professional and friend—is a blend of fresh grape juice and young Armagnac is a straw colored apertif served chilled. A classy and ancient drink, Floc de Gascogne is a thoroughly modern drink that’s been enjoyed since the dark ages. Crisp, and lightly sweet, the Floc is like a wine cooler that went to an Ivy league grad school: its very sophisticated and smart.
Chateau de Laubade Floc de Gascogne is a 16th century adaptation of the earliest version of the apertif, which blends fifty percent Colombard and fifty percent Ugni Blanc grape juice with a young Bas Armagnac. After settling for a year and decanting, fresh grape juice and young Armagnac is blended in a closed vat and aged until the end of winter. Bottom line, this is a perfect way to start a meal or end a night with a bit of cheese. Serve chilled, this delicate nectar has a playful hint of Armagnac that offers the sweet taste of summer. No matter what the weather is like.
*I do not get paid to write for them. I’m a big fan!