A Spontaneous Libation for your Consideration
From the Knowledge Vault
This is the seventh in a series on Bourbon by Zach Pearson. Read them all: Bourbon, Bourbon After the Act, Bourbon: What it is ... and isn't, Making Bourbon, Who Makes My Bourbon, Producer Capsules., Finding the Good Stuff, Tasting the Good Stuff, Neat, Mashbills, Geeky Information and Resources.
So look… this doesn't work in Oregon. The best thing to do here is to keep an eye on the Next Month Price Change list, and find things that you want that are going way down in price. Most recently, this was the infamous Laphroaig 10 for $20.25, but about a year ago, A. de Fussigny Tres Vielle Cognac dropped from $220 to $100 a bottle, and if you know that it’s a 50 year old Cognac that hasn’t been made in 10-15 years… well, let’s just say it was worth the drive to Eugene to pick up two bottles.
It also doesn’t work in Washington, which is too new at the private liquor sales game to have dusty old bottles lying around. There’s a lot of clean, bright new liquor stores and some helpful people, but taxes being what they are up there… I’d just avoid wasting a lot of time looking in Washington for liquor.
- Calexico — Aquavit, Rye, Herbal liqueur, Bitters, Ancho Reyes Verde chile liqueur, Lemon peel
- Rare Hearts — Cognac, Bourbon, Herbal liqueur, Cardamom bitters, Lemon juice, Vanilla syrup
- Long Peninsula Iced Tea — Light rum, Curaçao, Cola, Lime juice, Simple syrup, Brewed Tea
- Blueberry Patch — Rye, Ginger liqueur, Blueberry syrup
- Rhubarbaration — Bourbon, Zucca, Rhubarb syrup
Made as a frozen drink with Boodles and Pierre Ferrand and a cherry on top. Very good. I've found frozen drinks adopted from non-frozen cocktails need a bit of sweetener compared to standard recipes, but forgot to add it this time and was perfectly fine without it.
Wondrich's book, Imbibe! notes the Cacao discrepancy in Kappeler, and uses as a source the New York Sun, 1893. Without seeing the particular article, it is hard to tell. I haven't seen the 2011 Imbibe article where Wondrich provides the Racquet Club Cocktail recipe either, but the Imbibe! book's recipe is somewhat anachronistic, using Plymouth gin (even it if was gin made in Plymouth, wouldn't an Old Tom be closer to the style at the time or was Plymouth gin dry by then?) It also is a 50:50 (rather than shown in the recipe on this site.) Wondrich's ingredient notes say, "Use an Italian vermouth" rather than dry vermouth as given here and by Kappeler. So I am not sure what has happened but something seems mixed up. Was "French vermouth: intended rather than "Italian?" I dunno, but it makes a nice cocktail with Plymouth, Regan's orange bitters, and Tempus Fugit Creme de Cacao using a mild red vermouth such as Dolin Rouge.
For gin lovers, the Napoleon is a complex and boozy drink worth making. But it's not an easy drink to make because it's difficult to measure 2 dashes. For the Fernet Branca (FB) I rinsed the Old Fashioned glass but left a very small puddle in the glass. For the others, I poured a VERY small amount in the cap and then to the mixing glass. Next time I will use a dropper for consistency and ease of adjusting the amount. But the FB dash should be less because it can easily overwhelm other ingredients. Because it is difficult to precisely measure two dashes, the resulting taste is likely to vary from batch to batch. Sometimes a diamond, sometimes a stone. Good luck!
I rated my effort as 4.0--this time.
A bit on the sweet side.
Made as a frozen drink with a bit of ginger syrup instead of the ginger garnish, a bit of simple syrup, and an little extra splash of rye, good stuff