I am trying to make every cocktail in Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. This Thirsty Thursday is another episode in that project.
I am a bit of an I-word by nature. And by I-word, I mean introvert. And also a little bit of a hermit. I like being at home. A week of work (plus sundry dinners with friends, cards after work, etc.) requires a large amount of the social energy I possess. So I like to spend a lot of my weekend lounging around my house. I’ve lately been hosting hardcore, all-day Veronica Mars marathons. And by hosting, I mean me and the furry roommates I tend.
Anyway … we finally had beautiful weather this weekend and we happened to run out of gin. So I thwarted my hermit-y, interovert nature and headed out for a nice walk to get another bottle. And I finally added a bottle of Cherry Heering to the bar. The Straits Sling calls for kirschwasser, but that’s something I’ve not been able to find a bottle I like, so I went with the Cherry Heering. It also calls for the juice of half a lemon. That’s a measurement I’m never comfortable with – are we talking about half a pre-Prohibition lemon, or are we talking about a modern Godzilla-sized lemon? I think I ended up with about 3/4 oz. of lemon juice in mine.
This is a drink I’d like to welcome the first nice days of the year with every year. It’s got nice cherry flavor without being especially fruity, nor particularly sweet; but it is cherry, herbal, sparkly, drinkable in multiples. (The second one is for Dan.)
Inexplicably, some people hate gin. I am not one of them. At last count, we had 8 bottles of it on the bar (5 from local distillers). One is a recent acquisition.
Dan took me to dinner at Parson’s last week (the butter beans are my favorite, and you’d do yourself a favor to order a Negroni slushie, too) and then down the street to Scofflaw for a drink. Despite its proximity to our home, I haven’t been to Scofflaw since shortly after it opened. But I’ve been wanting to go and taste their gin ever since I found out they’d made an Old Tom with one of my favorite distillers over a year ago.
We tasted. It’s fantastic. Sweet. Lots of juniper and citrus and spice, a little bit floral.
So, we bought a bottle and brought it home and when it came time for a cocktail, I naturally thought of the Martinez. Forerunner of the Martini. It’s a drink I had for the first time while lingering around a table after a dinner party. The host – a chef – asked if I’d ever had one and proceeded to mix up a delightful Martinez that I sipped while we chatted with a few remaining guests.
I added a bottle of Ransom Old Tom to the bar after that.
As much as I love the drink with the Ransom, I have to say I might prefer it with the Scofflaw Old Tom. Sadly, unless you live in Chicago, you are out of luck – it’s so far only available for purchase at Scofflaw. But it’s a great souvenir to take home with you if you’re ever traveling through.
Proportions vary recipe to recipe, but this is what I’m liking these days:
- 1.5 oz Old Tom gin
- .75 oz sweet vermouth
- .25 maraschino liqueur
- 2 dashes of Boker’s bitters*
Combine in a mixing glass with ice & stir to chill. Strain into a glass & garnish with an orange peel.
*I think most recipes call for orange bitters – I assume since Boker’s was put out of business by Prohibition. But another maker reconstructed the recipe & is producing a new version of Boker’s. The PDT Cocktail Book calls for Boker’s which I thought was interesting, so I tried it out. Sold.