Gin Tonique

Gin ToniqueContinuing to be inspired by the Mezcal Tonique, I have been playing around more with tonic syrup as an ingredient in a non-bubbly cocktail. This ended up being something of a variant on the Martinez and nicely straddled the line between rich and refreshing. As in a Martinez, adding some orange bitters could be helpful.

2.0 oz gin (New Amsterdam)
0.5 oz Lillet
0.5 oz Luxardo
0.5 oz tonic syrup (Tomr's)
Stir with ice and strain

The major impression is of ripe stone fruit with lots of apricot and roasty/oxidized flavors. The noise is lighter; floral and grape/lychee. This starts off sweet, and I was worried it might get cloying, but then the bitterness kicked in and balanced it out. So, not this cocktail isn’t balanced all at once, but becomes so over the course of the sip. The gin, despite its volume, is really a background player here, but addsneeded clarity. I previously made a version with just 1.5 oz gin, but I like this version bettter, as it’s more open.


Guest Post: Alphabet City – A Manhattan Variant

This month for Mixology Monday, hosted by Cocktail VirginSlut, we tackle the Manhattan!

Until very recently, I thought I didn’t like vermouth, so I don’t know much about the Manhattan. What better reason to try it out!

I grabbed the rye and vermouth that I had on hand – Rittenhouse and Martini & Rossi dry vermouth respectively – and went from there. I don’t have an orange bitters, so angostura was the default choice there.

2 oz rye (Rittenhouse)
1 oz dry vermouth (Martini & Rossi)
1/4 oz cinnamon/clove/allspice syrup
8 drops Angostura bitters

Stir with ice until chilled. 
Serve in a cocktail glass.
Alphabet City: a Manhattan variant for MxMo May 2015

Alphabet City: a Manhattan variant for MxMo May 2015

On their own, these ingredients were too sharp and lacked warmth. I blame the dry vermouth. To restore the missing warmth and sweetness, I reached for a spiced simple syrup I had in the fridge, which I made a few weeks ago with the leftover mulling spices from the last time we had spiced cider.

The cinnamon does add warmth and sweetness, but I still feel like this is missing a “middle note”, and I wasn’t sure where else to take it. Nonetheless, the top and bottom notes are nicely balanced, and so I’m proud of this one!

This warm, spicy Manhattan variant is henceforth called the “Alphabet City”, named after the neighborhood I am currently residing in.

Flora’s Own

I first ran across this drink on the fabulous Cocktail Virgin Slut blog. The house where I was mixing only had vermouth which wasn’t interesting enough to be half the drink, so I shifted the recipe around to even proportions:

1 oz American Honey
1 oz gin (Beefeater)
1 oz dry vermouth (Gallo)

Stir and strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a Lemon Twist

Flora's Own Faceoff

Tonight, I compared two different pairs of gins and honey whiskeys: Bols Genever and American Honey against New Amsterdam and Drambuie. In the first, the nose was dominated by the Bols, and not really in a good way. The sweetness of the honey tempered it some, but the result was only OK. I don’t think this particular drink should have the gin as the star. The New Amsterdam + Drambuie was the better of the two. The Drambuie is much more assertive than the American Honey, so if mixing with that, I’d recommend the original ratio:

0.75 oz Drambuie
0.75 oz London dry gin
1.5 oz dry vermouth (Dolin Blanc)

Stir and strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a Lemon Twist

For the future, I’d suggest 1:1:1 if using a non-spicy honey whiskey like the American Honey to let the spirits through, but 1:1:2 if using Drambuie to keep balance with the spice. As for gin, something in between these two, like an actual London Dry is probably the best call.