“Maraschino and mezcal? Yeah, OK. I want to know what that tastes like.”
And that is how At the Pawnshop made it into our cocktail rotation and a bottle of mezcal graced our bar. I know next to nothing about agave spirits – so we haven’t collected the array of bottles like we have for gin, whiskey and rum. I don’t know what I like or how to use it.
This I can handle. I love this drink. It has the same basic structure as an Old-Fashioned. But it’s smoky, unexpected and a little bit shady. Like a pawnshop.
Recipe here. I make it the same way except I just use the Appleton rum we have on hand instead of the Plantation they recommend.
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.