Today's drink comes to us from the Wall Street Journal's cocktail column last Saturday. The Sud-Ouest might be the most interesting cocktail I've made at home. The main ingredient is pineau des charentes, which is about as difficult to find as it sounds. The third stop is the charm, and I finally found it at 67 Wine and Spirits. (Which is not on 67th Street, for your information. It's on 68th Street.) It's a cognac with wine, and also comes in a red variety. The bottle labels it as a dessert wine, but it doesn't have the sweetness normally associated with them. The book of cognacs I read at the shop while waiting through the search for the pineau also said that it makes a lovely aperitif. Again, not so sure about that.
However, this drink is fabulous, and potent. Give the ingredients a good shake and serve in a cocktail glass. It has a great layered flavor that is well-balanced, and didn't need any sprucing up from simply syrup or more juice.
2 1/2 oz pineau des charentes
1 oz gin (Plymouth, of course.)
1 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 oz Cointreau