The Botanist — Gin, Aromatized wine, Orange bitters, Lemon peel
I was caught by one user's comment that the Reverse Vesper is... "Tastier than the original though maybe too sweet. Worth trying with the gin and vodka proportions switched." I thought there must be a better, perhaps simpler way to make this drink less sweet, so here's what I did and the results.</p>
First, I made the drink using Citadelle Gin, but otherwise did not change the recipe, and found it somewhat sweet, but not overly so. Nevertheless, I used a grapefruit twist, making sure to express a fair amount of oil, and dropped in the twist. Definitely less sweet. Then I added dash of Fee Bros West Indies Orange Bitters. Even better, and I don't think anyone would complain about sweetness now. Nevertheless, I made another drink the same way, except I used one dash of Blood Orange bitters instead of West Indies bitters. I liked this even more. The changes to date: I used Citadelle Gin, a grapefruit twist, and 1-2 dashes of Blood Orange bitters. The result: a complex but smooth cocktail, that was not as sweet as before, with the amounts of vodka and gin unchanged.</p>
Now I decided to change the gin brand but continue to use the grapefruit twist and the Blood Orange bitters, To date, I've been using Valentine Vodka (a topshelf, very smooth vodka). In place of the Citidelle gin, I tried both St. George Terroir Gin and The Botanist Gin (both are botanical gins). Using either gin, along with Valentine Vodka, Blood Orange bitters, and a grapefruit twist made for a very tasty drink, which did not have a "sweetness" to it. In short, if you find the above recipe too sweet, use a grapefruit twist in place of the orange peel. A lemon twist also works well. If available, use Blood Orange bitters (1-2 dashes), and use a botanical gin if you have one--or Tanqueray Ten or Tanqueray Bloomsbury gin.
A long discussion, but I hope some of the suggested changes to create a less sweet cocktail were helpful. Cheers.</p>