April 1 welcomed South Florida's most-elaborate poetry festival, P. Scott Cunningham's O, Miami. The month-long literary affair will bring poetic guests to different Miami venues, but it's Miami Beach's Betsy Hotel that's hosting the official salons.
To display its commitment to the festival and its promising implications for South Florida's literary scene, the Betsy rolled out a cocktail dedicated to struggling writers and the age-old marriage of poems and booze: The Mot Juste, a stiff blend of Russel's Reserve Rye, traditional Artemisia Absinthe and sweet-spicy yellow Chartreuse, is the Betsy's first "literary cocktail."
Its name is a French phrase meaning "exact words," or "just the right words," according to Merriam-Webster.
Designed to inspire, the drink sells for $15 a pop all month long at BLT Steak, the hotel's restaurant. That price tag may not be alarming so close to the Miami Beach shore, but I wonder how much inspiration the cocktail instills. At the very least, it will motivate the artiste to write something so good she'll make enough money to buy a second.
Alternatively, make the Mot Juste at home:
1 ¼ ounces Russels Reserve Rye
¾ ounce Artemisia Absinthe
¼ ounce yellow chartreuse
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce simple syrup
Mix all ingredients in a shaker, add ice and shake. Strain into an old-fashioned glass over ice and garnish with twist of orange peel.
The Betsy Hotel is located at 1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. Clink the link to the left for more info on the O, Miami poetry festival.