2 oz Cognac (Pierre Ferrand's Ambre)
1 oz Dry Vermouth (Boissiere)
1 oz Ruby Port (Noval)
Stirred with ice and strained into a cocktail glass. A knotted lemon rind used as garnish a la devil horns.
Last night, I was in Boston for a biotech networking night and I coordinated to meet up with Andrea at Drink. We both got there around the same time (she was driving and I was walking from the South End) and luckily found seats at John Gertsen's bar after a kind gentleman agreed to shift down a seat. Andrea announced that I had a head start which I denied since the bar the networking night was held at was pretty crowded and the drinks on their cocktail list were a bit uninspiring. John knew the place and jokingly asked if I had the frozen drinks there (dispensed from a slushy machine) and then asked if I wanted him to make me one old school style by shaving ice off of one of Drink's big blocks of ice. While I did not take him up on it, the old school style theme was adopted for my two cocktails.
Since I had made gin cocktails at home the night before while making gnocchi, I asked John for something other than gin. We agreed on brandy as a good starting point, and John mentioned the Montana which is a drink I was familiar with. In fact, I had made one at home a little over a year ago (my LiveJournal has a brief entry about it). I had made mine with Sandeman Founder's Reserve Port since I did not have any ruby ports at home and had noted that the drink reminded me of a spiced wine due to the vermouth mixing with the port. John's Noval Ruby Port gave the drink a different flavor entirely; ruby ports are younger and fruitier than many other port varietals. In fact, Andrea thought the cocktail tasted vaguely like cherries.