"The Wiper" at Gitan at Canton.

"The Wiper" at Gitan at Canton. (Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun / February 8, 2012)

Bayne Joyes, managing director of Gitan Bistro Crú, takes cocktail naming almost as seriously as cocktail making. And he was willing to bet on it.

"If you get the reference, the drink's on me," he said. Start doing your homework. You see, Joyes is "kind-of a fan" of obscure trivia. The drink menu at the new Canton restaurant reflects his quirky tastes, in both popular culture and quality liquor. Case in point: the Wiper. And yes, he stumped me. But after a sip, I didn't much mind.

While Gitan, which draws inspiration from fresh French-Mediterranean cuisine, deals extensively in wine, Joyes' cocktail menu is set up similarly. "I design my cocktails like a good glass of wine," he said. "On the palette you can pick apart the flavors but ultimately they unify into one smooth taste."

The Wiper is a smooth, subtle nod to that concept. Joyes blends Leblon cachaça, a Brazilian sugarcane rum, with muddled lime and Domaine de Canton, a French ginger liqueur. The Domaine, a personal favorite of Joyes', adds a hint of sweet spice. A final splash of club soda, then a garnish of sage stalk brings out the sugary overtones of the cachaça . Together, the Wiper is crisp and balanced. It reminded me of a Caipirinha — think: a Brazilian mojito — without the overindulgent, sugary finish.

So what's the story behind the Wiper's name? I won't spoil Joyes' fun.You'll have to do that yourself.

How to Make The Wiper

Leblon cachaça

Domaine de Canton liquer

Club soda

1 lime

Fat pinch of fresh cut sage

Muddle lime with cachaça and Domaine in a cocktail glass; add a splash of club soda, then garnish with sage.

Where to Get The Wiper

Gitan Bistro Crú

800 S. Kenwood Ave., Canton

410.276.1200

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$8