My copy of 'Paris À Table' has lead a somewhat shameful existence. It follows me around my flat, always the next book but one that I intend to read. Occasionally I open it at a random page, get sucked in for a bit, wonder why I haven't got further with it and then reluctantly remember a more pressing commitment. It's a shitty way to treat a vivid and delightful view of the gastronomy of 19th century Paris.
Worse, it was a review copy from Oxford University Press, so there's that nagging feeling of not having written a thank you letter after Christmas. It really has to be the next book but one that I read.
The recipe for a Pompier (named for a French fireman) that I found in 'A Spirited Guide to Vermouth' feels like an excellent choice to go with it. If I was living my best life my early evenings would definitely have a book with a drink hour. What my early evening actually had today was a fight to format a stock manifest sheet onto one page so that I could transfer some whisky without vital paperwork getting lost. And so it goes.
The Pompier is 45ml dry vermouth with 30 ml crème de cassis stirred well over ice, strained into a highball glass, given more ice, and topped up with soda water. It's a cheerful ruby red colour with the cassis giving the dry vermouth a real black current boost, and the vermouth taking the sweeter edge off the cassis.
As cassis is another liqueur that wants to be used up quite quickly once it's open this is a really sensible drink to have in your repertoire. And in your daydreams whilst you deal with stock manifests.