A team of French researchers recently reported that, weeks before she was beheaded, Marie Antoinette engaged in a lascivious affair with Axel von Fersen, the Swedish count who helped plot her escape from France. They did so by using X-ray and infrared scanner technology to unearth a series of love letters she sent while under house arrest at the Tuileries Palace. Now, a new bar in N.Y.C.'s Brooklyn Heights neighborhood is paying homage to the queen with an underground, Rococo-style haunt inspired by her lavish private chambers.
Le Boudoir, cleverly named after the intimate room where royals could retreat for a brief respite from the public eye, is an opulent lounge that's accessible through a fake bookshelf and features 18th-century oil paintings, vintage goblets, and, of course, imaginative riffs on classic cocktails based on figures in Antoinette's life, including this bourbon and brandy-based drink named after von Fersen himself. "The savory notes of the curry make it very food-friendly," says beverage director Franky Marshall. "Plus, it's so rich that just one will leave you satisfied." Read on for the recipe.
Axel von Fersen
1/8 tsp curry powder
1/2 oz housemade sesame paste (blend equal parts sesame seeds, raw cane sugar, and water on medium-high until seeds have been liquified)
1/2 oz bourbon
1 1/2 oz Applejack brandy ($20; wineanthology.com)
Pinch of black caraway, to garnish
Add all ingredients to a mixing tin and add two solid ice cubes. Give a short shake. Fine strain into a small goblet over one large ice cube. Carefully place a pinch of black caraway on top of the ice cube.