This one is a big flavored cocktail and comes out of the PDT cocktail book. Originally it came from The Sideboard Manual, 1900 but thankfully Meehan has reprinted it because it’s a terrific cocktail. And that’s one of the reasons I’m enjoying the PDT book, it’s an eclectic collection of cocktails both vintage and modern that are turning out to be great additions to our repertoire.
1 1/2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin
3/4 oz Carpano Antica
2 dashes orange bitters
Stir with cracked ice, strain into chilled coupe. Orange twist.
We really liked this cocktail. It’s got big flavor, the astringency of the sloe gin works really well with the Carpano, and it makes the taste buds work. Brands matter so much in the sloe gin and vermouth, otherwise any London dry should work for the gin and any orange bitters.
QDP accused me of breaking the “no Manhattan” rule, which includes Manhattans and all Manhattan derivatives (On the Rise, 6th Borough, Dewey D, etc) last night. Partly because he took a sip and immediately said Yum and second when I told him the ingredients he said it was basically a Manhattan. True enough, it’s a mix of rye, cognac, and sweet vermouth in about the same proportions as a Manhattan, but I maintain that I followed the spirit of the rule rather than the letter. While this thing really looks like a Manhattan on paper the addition of the lemon twist alone transforms this drink from Manhattan derivative to a year-round sipper that can satisfy in July as well as December. Besides, as a friend mentioned to me “this is a drink that was invented in and that they have all year round in New Orleans and it’s one of the hottest places to live.”
1 oz rye
1 oz sweet vermouth
1/2 tsp Benedictine
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Shake (I stir) with ice and strain. Garnish with lemon twist.
These ingredients mixed together should taste heavier than they do. I really think it’s that citrus from the lemon that makes this so refreshing but I also find Peychaud’s to be a deliciously sweet bitter if there is such a thing and that could be a contributor.
And if QDP is right and this thing is just a Manhattan derivative then the only thing I can say is that there are exceptions to just about every rule.
The Aviation Cocktail. DeGroff thinks it takes like soap. I humbly disagree.
The Aviation. After the final month of Manhattan Season every March I never get an answer from QDP on what he wants for a cocktail. QDP will only ask for a Manhattan that last month – April is coming and when it arrives I think he’ so despondent that Manhattans are no more that he doesn’t know what to do. So it’s up to me and I always seem to dust this one off, grab some lemons and whip up a couple. This year was no exception.
I’ve said it before, I don’t care if Dale DeGroff wrote that the Internet crowd had resurrected “this old chestnut”, this old chestnut was the first drink QDP and I ever made and it holds a special place in our cocktail library. We may have had hundreds of cocktails since, and we’ll certainly have hundreds more, but we’ll never have another first. And I think we chose extremely well. Of course, the first time I ever made it I used bottled lemon juice out of one of those bright yellow lemon shaped squeeze bottles and it was simply vile. But I had faith and insisted that we give it another go (btw – QDP totally finished his). So off to the store I went for real lemons and a redo.
That second redo and the one I made last night were amazing. It’s the perfect Spring cocktail because it’s tart, sweet, balanced and light enough to bring thoughts of daffodils and tulips to mind while sipping slowly.
1 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz maraschino liqueur
3/4 oz lemon juice
Shake with cracked ice and garnish with either a cherry or a lemon twist.
If your guests are a little apprehensive about gin then try citrus flavored vodka instead. It makes for a very smooth cocktail and gives the lemon a little more punch. And then try the gin version on them a little later.
A full lunar eclipse and the winter solstice coincided for the first time in 456 years this year.
It's been a little dry around here since the new year. Yes, by choice, but it means there are fewer new cocktails for me to talk about. Of course that means that when I do break out the barware it needs to be special. It also means that the go to cocktail book that I'm going to choose is the new Jim Meehan book. I just haven't had the opportunity to explore the cocktail recipes yet and I feel that I'm woefully behind.
This drink is from bartender John Deragon, who (according to the PDT Cocktail Book) serves this cocktail on the winter solstice. Of course, it would be a crime against cocktail drinkers everywhere to limit this most excellent cocktail to one day a year so I'm going to declare this an excellent fall/winter drink. Put it away in April.
1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse rye
1/2 oz Bonded apple brandy
1/2 oz Nonino Amaro
1/2 oz Dubonnet Rouge
1/4 oz Grenadine
Stir with ice and strain. No garnish.
There is something about apple brandy that gives just about every drink it's in a sweet dryness that I find really pleasant. (See Solera) And in this drink that dryness is there but there's also some complex, fruity, and full flavors delivered by the Amaro, Dubonnet, and Grenadine. Up front there is a fullness to the first sip followed by that apple dryness and a bit of the grenadine (please use a good quality grenadine and not Rose's). As the drink warms the fuller flavors become more pronounced and deeper. It's delicious. And without the addition of bitters or garnish the drink has to stand on the flavors of the main ingredients which it does in a clean and unfussy way.
Oh and yes, I've been choosing drinks in the PDT book that don't require infusions or specialty syrups. First they take planning and second they make so much that unless you're drinking every day or are having a party you can never get through them in time. Once things get a little wetter around here I'll start talking about the infusions.
PDT Cocktail Book
The PDT Cocktail book is back on Amazon. Get it while it’s available!
This was the drink I wanted to make first when I flipped through the recipes in The PDT Cocktail Book. Unfortunately I didn’t have an orange at the time so I’ve had to wait until some acceptable ones reappeared in our local supermarket. It was worth the wait.
My personal feeling on this cocktail is that this recipe alone is worth the $16.56 for the entire book. It’s magnificent. QDP wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as me, but he still thoroughly enjoyed the drink and said it was a worthy Manhattan variation.
2 oz Old Overholt Rye Whiskey
3/4 oz Lustau East India Sherry
1/2 oz Aperol
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Orange twist.
In this case, brands matter. The Lustau East India Sherry which I bought solely for the Solera cocktail has a deep, sweet, complex flavor which adds a bit of raisin to the drink and should not be substituted. Aperol, of course, is specific to it’s Italian bitters liqueur category and should also not be substituted.
Overall, the cocktail is more complex than a simple Manhattan but also a little sweeter and nuttier. A good choice for those who are not sure if they would like a Manhattan.
Assorted Drinks Related Books
The Tampa Tribune- All bars should celebrate Repeal Day. Good for them and for us. A few recipes thrown in.
Massachusetts Daily Collegian – Yes, I should be more supportive, but these college cocktail columns are hilarious. I don’t know where these recipes came from (she doesn’t say tsk, tsk), but I think it’s safe to say that pineapple vodka should never be mixed with eggnog and if you’re stirring with a candy cane you should just be doing shots. Maybe I’m just being a Scrooge.
Daily Mail – Have we all jumped a shark? Just askin. There is such a thing as the law of diminishing returns.
LA Times – It is the holidays after all. Candy cane striped straws.
STL Today – Subtle is not a word that I would use to describe this cocktail menu.
PDT Cocktail Book
QDP has been watching me like a hawk this month. Every time I grab a bottle other than rye, sweet vermouth and bitters he makes me put it back. And while I’m a huge fan of the Manhattan I’ve been craving something else lately. Which means that the arrival of the newly published PDT Cocktail Book yesterday is just the hook I need to get QDP out of the Manhattan for a while and I can get back to publishing new drinks. I’m glad I pre-ordered mine because it looks like several stores are out of stock already.
There are actually a few cocktail books that I desperately want and have had to postpone getting (like Dale DeGroff’s The Essential Cocktail: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks, Jason Kosmas’ Speakeasy: The Employees Only Guide to Classic Cocktails Reimagined, and F. Paul Pacult’s Kindred Spirits 2), but I had a feeling that the PDT book was going to be one of those books that wouldn’t wait on my wish list. I’ve been waiting for a thorough documentation of the last five years of cocktail innovation for a while. I think the PDT Cocktail Book might be it.
I can’t wait to get started!
Happy Manhattan Season everyone!
We had a great kick-off cocktail party to celebrate the first Manhattans of the season and have been enjoying them for the last few days. Thanks to all who sent notes describing their Manhattan celebratory stories on the first Saturday in October. It’ll be all Manhattans all the time around here for a few weeks, but I’ll try to throw QDP a few Manhattan variations I can blog about.
Assorted Drinks Related Books
Washington Post – I’m always up for a little schadenfreude myself, but I don’t want to harp on SkinnyGirl’s recent problems. The article is really about the new PDT Cocktail Book which I’m anxious to get a copy of soon.
The best line of this piece is, “Frankly, if you’re too lazy to squeeze a lime and mix it with tequila and triple sec, maybe you deserve some sodium benzoate in your life.”
There are also a couple of interesting cocktail recipes included. Can’t wait to give the book a whirl.
NYMag – The whole point of Quiet Drinking is to drink what you like, but I have to say that this essay for NYMag is pretty amusing. Particularly this: “You know what I said about Slippery Nipples only being appropriate for people in their twenties? Forget it: An 85-year-old ordering one is instantly going to be everyone’s favorite person in the bar.” When I’m 85 I shall order a Slippery Nipple.