Tuesday, March 4, 2014


This is the original old school grandfather of the dry martini that we know today. It is anything but dry. When vermouth came on the scene in America in the late 1800's, it was often predominant in mixed drinks not merely a modifier of a stronger liquor. There are recipes for manhattans which have similar flipped (to our modern sensibilities) ratios, as well as other less popular heavy vermouth based drinks. Although I dont care much for ridiculously dry martinis, this other extreme doesn't suit me either. It starts to be interesting at a 2:1 ratio of gin to vermouth for me. Here goes the classic from Jerry Thomas:

old tom gin

2oz sweet vermouth
1oz old tom gin
1tsp maraschino liquer
dash bokers bitters
garnish: lemon peel

Stir with ice in a mixing glass. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel. Bokers is an old brand of bitters that has recently been recreated by Dr Adam Elmegirab's. I used Angostura. Old tom gin is a slightly sweetened pre prohibition style of gin which is gaining some popularity. Several brands are available. Maraschino liquer is not the gross red liquid from around neon red corn syrupy cherries but rather a delicious cherry, cherry pit and almond based liquer from Italy made by Luxardo. It is called for in small amounts in lots of classic cocktails. In the few decades leading up to prohibition it was commonly dashed into drinks along with absinthe and together they play quite nicely. Coupes are way classier than pointy martini glasses...

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