Saturday, September 27, 2008

philadelphia fish-house punch (variant)

Last night, Andrea and I threw a punchbowl party in honor of the birth of John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed). Michael Pollan in his book The Botany of Desire dubbed Chapman the American Dionysus for he brought the gift of alcohol to the frontier in the form of fermentable fruit.

Keeping with the theme, we made apple variations of two classic punch recipes, the Philadelphia Fish-House and Columbian Punches. The first one we made was the Fish-House, a punch which one history dates it back to 1732. It was created at a Philadelphia fishing club and gentleman’s society called the Schuylkill Fishing Club, and the punch is best summed up in these lines from a poem, “There's a little place just out of town, / Where, if you go to lunch, / They'll make you forget your mother-in-law / With a drink called Fish-House Punch.” And yes, the punch is that strong…

Philadelphia Fish-House Punch (variant)
• 1.75 liter Amber Rum
• 750 mL Calvados
• 1/2 cup Peach Brandy
• 7 cups Water
• 2 cups Sugar
• 1 lemon thinly sliced

The original form of this recipe used Cognac instead of my Calvados substitution. My notes say that I used Mount Gay Eclipse rum, Morin Selecion Calvados, and Crème de Peche de Vigne. The rum and apple brandy were placed in the freezer overnight. I made up the sugar as a cold-process simple syrup and placed in the refrigerator for chilling. The refrigeration of the liquids was to avoid the need for ice which would change the shape of the punch over time.

columbian punch (variant)

The second punch was the Columbian Punch. It was much anticipated since I had left the recipe on the counter and the combination of ingredients sounded rather tempting. Had I served this one first, the Fish-House Punch might have been dwarfed flavor-wise. The recipe was created in 1893 to honor the 401st anniversary of Columbus’ trip to America. Although a year late for the quadricentennial celebration, the punch was made for the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago. The recipe was later published in Beverages and Sandwiches for Your Husband's Friends.

Columbian Punch (variant)
• 1.75 liter Amber Rum
• 750 mL Calvados
• 8 oz Green Chartreuse
• 32 oz Oolong Tea
• Juice of 4 Lemons
• Juice of 4 Oranges
• 2 cups of Sugar
• 2 x 750 mL bottles Sparkling Hard Cider

The original recipe would have used Cognac instead of Calvados and Champagne instead of cider. My notes say that I used Mount Gay Eclipse rum, Morin Selecion Calvados, and Farnum Hill Summer Cider from New Hampshire. Also, I used orange juice instead of squeezing oranges and pre-made cold process simple syrup (1:1) instead of stirring the crystals into solution in the punchbowl itself. Similar to the Fish-House, the rum and apple brandy were placed in the freezer overnight. The cider, simple syrup, and tea were refrigerated.

The small amount of Chartreuse in the drink did give the punch a rather pleasant herbal nature to it and complemented the Oolong tea rather well. The apple flavors from the Calvados and cider were present but not overwhelming.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

trilby (variation)

2 oz Old Tom Gin
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
1 cube Sugar
1 dash Orange Bitters
1 dash Aromatic Bitters
Flamed Orange Peel
1 tsp floater of Creme de Violette

Muddle the bitters with the sugar cube. Add the gin, vermouth, and ice, and stir. Strain into a cocktail glass. Flame and squeeze an orange peel over the cocktail and add a floater of creme de violette (looked like about a teaspoon or so dashed out).

Last night, Andrea wanted to go to Deep Ellum after reading this DrinkBoston blog post about how Eric Seed of Haus Alpenz was going to be there showcasing some of his new line including Hayman's Old Tom Gin and Dolin Vermouths. The Old Tom Gin was rather exciting since this was a defunct ingredient brought back from the recipe vaults from a member of the family that started the Beefeater line. The Dolin line is interesting in that it is the last independent company producing Vermouth de Chambery whereas the others have been bought up by large corporations, and their style of production is in keeping with the old ways of herb maceration instead of prepared infusions.

Eric let us taste the Old Tom gin and Dolin sweet and dry vermouths while apologizing that his blanco vermouth bottle was emptied at his stop in New York city the day before (which must be a good sign!). The Old Tom was very much like a Jonge Genever in the malty full-mouth feel; however, it had a greater focus on botanicals than a Jonge Genever does (I am basing my comparison on the Boomsma). A little more sweetened than a dry gin but not all that much so. The Dolin vermouths were rather tasty. The dry was great on its own but might be lost when mixed in some cocktail recipes since the wine and botanicals were rather light tasting. The sweet vermouth seemed more robust while still not being overly aggressive. We also got to taste a dash or two of Amargo Chuncho, a Peruvian bitters that Eric is planning on or hoping to distribute. The Amargo Chuncho made its way into a Pisco Sour that Max Toste mixed up for the group. Max also made a Tom Collins and a Ramos Gin Fizz showcasing the Old Tom, a Hesitation Cocktail with Haus Alpenz's Batavia Arrack, and the Trilby variation.

A standard Trilby is rye (or bourbon), sweet vermouth, and orange bitters, whereas CocktailDB includes the variation as 1 1/4 oz Old Tom Gin, 1 oz sweet vermouth, 2 dashes orange bitters, and a float of Creme Yvette. Max's drink listed at the top of the entry used the Hayman's Old Tom Gin and Dolan Sweet Vermouth. His house-made bitters and the addition of the flamed orange peel put his signature on this recipe. The Old Tom and this particular vermouth worked rather splendidly in this classic recipe. I wonder how it would taste in a Martinez... Overall, it's rather exciting to see these products being produced again and/or being distributed stateside. One by one these defunct ingredients from the days of yore are returning.

Friday, September 19, 2008

number 8

Barenjager
Madeira
Tequila
Orange bitters

Stirred with ice, garnished with a large-ish lemon peel.
Update: The recipe from the PDT Cocktail Book is as follows:
• 2 oz Don Julio Reposado Tequila
• 3/4 oz Lustau Palo Cortado Sherry
• 1/2 oz Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur
• 2 dash Orange Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
For my second drink of the evening at Pacific Daylight Time, err, I mean Eastern Standard, I asked Mr. Eun to make me a tequila-based cocktail. I had already spotted him making several Number 8s over the course of the evening, and it definitely intrigued me. I regret that I didn't get the proportions (and was a tad too shy to ask him for them). The cocktail was quite complex in flavor, and not cloyingly sweet at all, given the honey liqueur. The smokiness of the tequila was accented nicely by the Madeira. I certainly applaud the use of more sherries, ports, and madeiras - vermouth's been getting all the love lately.

I'd call the bartender exchange a smashing success. The drinks that Fred and I sampled (I *loved* the Mariner that Fred got) were nice changes for our palates. Hopefully more of the Boston-area bartenders will be willing to mix up some new flavors. I haven't really been involved with the cocktail scene for very long, but it seems like this fall is a time of great upheaval in Boston's bars - old, beloved places shutting down (B-Side), new hotshots on the move (Craigie on Main), and a sea-change in the bespoke cocktail (Drink). Change is good. I'll drink to that.

seelbach redux

1 oz. Bulliet bourbon
1/2 oz. Cointreau
3ish dashes Angostura bitters
3ish dashes Peychaud's bitters
top off with a few oz. Cava (PDT uses Moët)

On Monday, Fred had a DJing gig at An Tua Nua (the front room of which was filled with enthusiastic and polite, but ultimately disappointed, Philadelphia Eagles fans). So afterwards, we hit Eastern Standard to experience courteous service done the NYC way. As Fred has already written, Mr. Daniel Eun from Please Don't Tell was participating in a bartender exchange, and we were eager to try some new flavors in our cocktails. But first, I decided to see how Mr. Eun did with an old favorite.

PDT's take on the Seelbach is definitely on the lighter side, though still flavorful. This one was also the driest of the Seelbachs I've tried. Mr. Eun let the ice melt for quite a while (I wondered if they have slower ice cubes at PDT - our drinks that night were much more heavily watered than those to which I've become accustomed) ; combined with the much lighter hand with the bitters, it certainly made for a less challenging drink than a standard Seelbach. Still, quite enjoyable.

On a note having nothing to do with cocktails (directly) - I definitely felt transported back in time a bit during my visit. Mr. Eun wore a gorgeous victorian-inspired shawl-collared wool waistcoat. He looked perfect with ES's old fashioned bar as a backdrop. Alas, I didn't even think to take any pictures.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

the mariner

2 oz Scotch
1/2 oz Smoked cardamom simple syrup
1/4 oz Pineapple juice
1/4 oz Lemon juice
Lemon peel
Stir with ice in a rocks glass. Twist a lemon peel over the drink and drop in glass.

For my second and last drink last night at Eastern Standard, guest bartender Daniel Eun from Please Don't Tell took my suggestion of sticking with whiskeys and made me this drink. While I am not a big Scotch fan [1], the Mariner had enough other flavors to distract me from this. I regret now not asking which Scotch he used, but Andrea thought that the label read 'Asbach' or similar (?). John Deragon of PDT wrote in eGullet that they use Compass Box Oak Cross for their version.

The Mariner was a good pairing with the cheese plate I was eating with the whiskey and the smoke-cardamom simple syrup flavors playing nicely with the 3 cheeses on the menu last night. The juices gave an interesting effect in being minor ingredients instead of dominant ones. While the recipe seems like it would be rather heavy, it was not perhaps due to the ice melt or due to the simple syrup smoothing out the flavors.

[1] At a recent Scotch tasting event I went to, I discovered that it was the peat flavor that I do not like. My favorite that night was the less peaty Dalwhinnie which someone jokingly told me was "a lady's scotch".

dewey d

2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
3/4 oz Lustau East India Sherry
1/2 oz Aperol
1 dash Boker's Bitters (*)
1 dash Nasturtium Bitters (*)
Orange peel
Stir with ice and strain into a coupette glass. Rub rim with orange peel, twist peel over glass, and drop in.
(*) Usually this drink is made with 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters.

Last night, Andrea and I stopped in to Eastern Standard to have guest bartender Daniel Eun from Manhattan's Please Don't Tell make us some cocktails. Luckily, when we walked in, there were two seats open at the bar right in front of his station. Daniel greeted us instantly and remembered our names from the night before. I requested a drink with rye and bitter liqueurs and asked him if that gave him any ideas and the Dewey D is what he came back with. The bitters he used were the ones I have written about here which I had just given to Jackson shortly after sitting down. It was pretty entertaining to watch both Daniel and Jackson dropping dashes of bitters into their palms, rubbing their hands together, and covering their face like a gas mask to soak the aromas in.

The cocktail itself was rather tasty. The sherry and Aperol go splendidly together and are complemented by the orange oils in the drink. The web tells me that PDT usually use Old Overholdt in this drink, but the spicier nature of the Rittenhouse work well in the drink where it mingle with the bitters.

Ever since we read the article in SfGate about the return of vermouths as major components of cocktails, Andrea has been saying that ports, sherries, and madeiras would be the next big wave of old cocktail reagents to return. And it seems that Mr. Eun, from this drink and others that we watched him mix last night, is riding the beginnings of this this wave into shore.

Monday, September 15, 2008

ewing no. 33

Appleton Estate VX rum
Fernet-Branca
Brown sugar syrup
Ricard
Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. My guesstimation of proportions is below. EDIT: The recipe from Food & Wine: Cocktails 2008 is below that.

Last night, Andrea and I went to Green Street for drinks. Shortly before ordering our first cocktails, Eastern Standard's Jackson Cannon sat down next to us and introduced us to Daniel Eun from Please Don't Tell who is here in town as part of an ES-PDT exchange program. This exchange starts today and runs until Wednesday, so we might stop in after I am done DJing tonight to have a drink made by Daniel. Although the experience will lack the speakeasy feel of entering PDT...

The Ewing no. 33 is a drink created by Dylan Black, the owner of Green Street. My sports fan friends would chuckle that I ordered a drink named after a sports star (some of my friends are "amused" that I criticize home teams for their screwing up commutes, crowding bars, usurping parking, and the like, and not for rooting for another team). The drink itself is a medium-bodied rum sweetened with simple syrup to bolster against the herbal phalanx of the Fernet and Angostura. From my web searching, I have only discovered that the original concept was a Ricard rinse; however, Misty added it as a dash to the mixing cup which is fine since it generally comes out tasting the same. The pastis adds some great flavor highlights to the drink very reminiscent of the late 1800's trend of adding an absinthe dash that I wrote about yesterday.

If I would have to guess proportions, I would estimate 1 1/2 oz rum, 1/2 oz Fernet-Branca, 1/2 oz of a 1:1 brown sugar simple syrup, 1/4 tsp Ricard (or a rinse), and 1 dash Angostura.
Ewing No. 33
• 2 oz Amber Rum
• 1/2 oz Fernet Branca
• 1/4 oz Spiced Brown Sugar Syrup (*)
• 1 dash Angostura
Stir on ice and strain into a coupe glass pre-rinsed with pastis. Garnish with a lime wedge.

(*) 8 oz water, 1 cup dark brown sugar, 1 star anise pod, 2 allspice berries. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool, strain, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

"Dylan Black doesn't invent many cocktails for his Cambridge restaurant, but he decided that basketball great Patrick Ewing, who grew up within blocks of Green Street, deserved one. Black uses Jamaican rum to honor Ewing's island birthplace, Kingston."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

the improved gin cocktail

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo XXXI) is 19th century cocktails as chosen by the Bibulo.us blog. The theme was a little bit of a challenge since most of my cocktail books start their focus in the 1910s to 1930s; however, I did have access to Jerry Thomas' Bartending Guide (or How to Mix Drinks) online and as well as to David Wondrich's Imbibe which tells a good history of Thomas. We had already made a few drinks from these sources including the Weeper's Joy and others, and I wanted to try something new.

The drink I went with was the Improved Gin Cocktail. The improved part comes from an 1876 update of Jerry Thomas' book. Two major "improvements" over the Fancy Gin Cocktail were the use of maraschino instead of curacao and the use of absinthe. Absinthe, much like in the last year or so in this country, was the popular fad during the 1870s and 1880s. A dash or more was added to cocktails to add some extra complexity to the drink besides the standard use of absinthe as a base liqueur.

Improved Gin Cocktail
• 2 oz Gin (1 small wine glass)
• 1 tsp Gomme Syrup (3 dashes)
• 1/2 tsp Maraschino Liqueur (2 dashes)
• 1/4 tsp Absinthe (1 dash)
• 2 dashes Boker's Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass which has the rim coated with a slice of lemon. Twist lemon peel over top to express the oil. The Jerry Thomas measurements are in parenthesis while the Wondrich interpretation is on the left.

Ingredients notes: for a gin, we used Boomsma Oude Genever gin which would approximate some of the gin being used in this period. Oude Genever is a Dutch style that is rather malty and tastes like a light whiskey mixed with the juniper notes of modern day gin. Luxardo Maraschino and Versinthe absinthe rounded out the other store bought ingredients. The gomme syrup I had made after a major hunt for gum arabic which I ended up buying online before I was alerted that it was available in a local Indian spice shop under a different name (I believe it was Indian gum, and it was in crystals instead of a fine powder). And lastly, the Boker's Bitters were the first bitters that I made and bottled at home; I wrote about the process in this blog entry. A bottle of my Boker's is at the bar at Rendezvous in Cambridge, MA, if you're in town and curious. Angostura Bitters would make a fine store-bought substitute for the Boker's, and simple syrup for the gomme syrup as well.

I found that the absinthe and the bitters made for a good pairing, and these tastes were balanced out by the sweetness and smoothness of the gomme syrup and maraschino. The gin gave a good base for the rest of the ingredients without overpowering the drink with its flavor. Andrea's seemed rather pleased with her Improved Gin Cocktail, and she commented that her first sip tasted like an old-fashioned cherry cough drop.

Friday, September 12, 2008

saratoga (variant)

1 oz Rye
1 oz Punt e Mes
1 oz Brandy
3 dashes Boker's Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry.

Scott made me this as my last drink at Rendezvous on Tuesday. He followed the rye Diablo with a slight variant of a mid-1800's recipe called the Saratoga. The original drink is made with sweet vermouth, a lemon slice (sometimes interpreted as a twist), and 2 dashes of Angostura bitters instead of the spicier Punt e Mes, cherry, and Boker's bitters. The only ingredient note that I have is that the rye was Old Overholdt, but I never asked which brandy he used. The Punt e Mes made up for the Old Overholdt's smoother, less spicy nature in comparison to other ryes. Either way, the drink is rather solid and has many similarities to a Manhattan in proportions.

Typing out the drink recipe did remind me of another cocktail that I have not had in a while, the Vieux Carré, which is essentially a Saratoga with New Orleans flare. Scratch the lemon and instead add Benedictine and Peychaud's bitters.

diablo (variant)

2 oz Rye
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz White Port
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

On Tuesday, Andrea and I went down to Rendezvous for dinner and to meet up with Tim and Jess (the creator of this blog) for drinks. I started with a Nehru with dinner and I asked the bartender, Scott Holliday, what he had been experimenting with lately. He mixed me this Diablo variant. The only comment was that he swapped the rum and dry vermouth for rye and white port, so the rest of the recipe above as well as the proportions are from barnonedrinks.com (it took a while to find the rum-based Diablo since there are several distinct cocktails with the same name). I have no clue if he used Cointreau or even has it at the bar so that and the rest is guesstimation. His substitution was intriguing as he swapped the spicy and smooth ingredients around. A spicy rye and a smooth white port instead of a smooth rum and a spicy vermouth. I think that the only other time I had a mixed drink with white port was in a white sangria. Standard ports used to be standards in mixed drinks including back in the time of Jerry Thomas; it is a pity that they and sherries are used less frequently by today's bartenders.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

le president

Rhum JM
Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
a few dashes of Creme de Cassis

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Tuesday last week, Andrea was hanging out with a friend of hers so I decided to stop down at Rendezvous for a drink. One of the ones that Scott Holliday made me was an El Presidente variant (here is the more traditional one I had at Eastern Standard) using J.M. Rhum. J.M. is a rhum agricole which is a style of rum made only in Martinique using fresh sugar cane juice and not over-processed molasses. JM is rather aromatic rum with hints of spice and smoke which may be due from the fact that it is a terroir rum grown on the hills of a volcano. Also, the rhum style distills at a lower proof to carry over more of these flavors from the cane. It is everything that Bacardiazation trend strives not to be.

Definitely the care that went into the alcohol carried over into the cocktail Scott made me. The flavors of the rhum were complemented by the herbalness of the vermouth, and the fruit juice flavors added the sweetness to smooth this drink out. Scott also used an interesting substitution of creme de cassis instead of the standard grenadine.

Next time I go out liquor shopping, I'll take a gander at some rhum agricole.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

nasturtium bitters

After remembering the nasturtium-infused gin we made last year, I decided to craft some cocktail bitters around this peppery tasting flower that grows around the border of our vegetable garden as well as elsewhere in our yard.
I used botanical to alcohol and water ratios from various recipes I found (and there is great variation through out the recipes) and chose my first recipe. Version 1 was similar to the recipe below and started out with a very good nasturtium and orange aroma during days 1-2. By days 4-5, it was way too bitter when used in a 3:1 Plymouth gin:Noilly Prat martini; in fact, it was horribly bitter. I ended up having to dump that batch and to scrap the milk thistle and cut back wormwood 5 fold. The experience taught me to pilot lot new recipes in the small scale -- such as the Celery Bitters that are ongoing which started as 6 jars of 1 oz size.
The recipe that I ended up going with and bottling:
Yarm's Nasturtium Bitters
• 12 oz Bacardi 151 rum
• 4 oz water
• 45 grams nasturtium flowers (wet weight)
• 10 grams dried orange peel
• 8 grams cardamom pods (sliced open)
• 7.5 grams cinnamon stick
• 5 grams gentian
• 1 gram wormwood
• 2 grams star anise
Let steep for 14 days.
• 12 oz water
• 30 grams nasturtium flowers (wet weight)
Muddle the flowers in a separate jar and store in fridge overnight.
Filter the alcohol portion through a coffee filter.
Wash the botanicals with the nasturtium water, and filter this wash. Combine with alcohol filtrate.
Bottle.
The recipe does not reflect that I added some of the botanicals after sampling them at day 4. I doubled the cinnamon and cardamom, added the star anise, upped the gentian from 1 to 5 grams, and added the 4 oz of water to keep the herbs submerged. One difference was between the first and second batches of bitters, it rained a lot and the flavor quality of the nasturtiums changed. The first were rather sharp and peppery, and the second were more tea-like akin to a rooibos which might be why I added the second round of botanicals.

My favorite recipe with them so far is:
Rum Old Fashioned
• 1 1/2 oz Medium-bodied rum (Ron Zacapa 15 year)
• 1/4 oz Gomme (or simple) syrup
• 2-3 dashes of Nasturtium bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass.
Enjoy!

August 2010 post-script: I remade the bitters this year. It was a less rainy season this year, so the flowers had more flavor and aroma. I, therefore, scrapped the 12 ounces of muddle flower water and swapped in 6 ounces of water. I used a new batch of cinnamon that made this note more prominent; surprisingly, the cardamom (same batch) seems more dominant. Perhaps it was the muddling of the cardamom pods that helped.

[marconi wireless like drink]

Rittenhouse Rye
Apple Jack
Punt e Mes
1 dash Regan's Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Squeeze orange peel over drink and float the peel as garnish.

For my last drink, Kevin wondered if I wanted to try another Pimm's cocktail off their menu or go with something else. When I replied with the latter, he smiled and disappeared to make me a drink based off of what I had drank preceding this one. When he returned, he presented it as a take on the Marconi Wireless, although with the rye in there it could be a Manhattan Wireless? I have no clue about the proportions he used for this drink, but with these ingredients, one could do no wrong with an equal 1:1:1 or perhaps a 3 applejack:2 rye:1 punt e mes plus the orange bitters.

In the end, it tasted like a maltier and spicier Marconi Wireless or a less apple-y Stone Fence.

rye and dry

1 oz Sazerac Rye
1 oz Pimm's No. 1
1 oz Dry Vermouth
1 dash Bittermen's Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a low ball (rocks) glass.

Hugh made my second drink of the night last Monday at Eastern Standard. I picked one off of their newly updated Lineage-Legacy menu which features Pimm's No. 1, the gin-based liqueur. Kevin had already suggested the Rye & Dry and one other one off their list for me, and the Rye & Dry seemed to follow best after the King's Yellow.

The drink was rather good but the Pimm's felt a little lost in the drink for me to make out what it tasted like. When Kevin checked in, a commented this to which he poured me a small taste of the Pimm's straight. The best I could compare it to is an amaro mixed with mainly gin.

Kit came by to discuss the new drinks with me and I pointed to their Dartmouth Cooler as probably being the best crafted one of the group, although I did not take note of the ingredients (nor has the Eastern Standard website been updated since the change last week).

While this drink is an Eastern Standard original, it is most like a nod to the older Rye & Dry cocktail which CocktailDB.com lists as 1 1/2 oz rye, 1 oz dry vermouth, and 1 dash orange bitters.

Friday, September 5, 2008

king's yellow

1 1/2 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
3/4 oz Dry Vermouth
3/4 oz Benedictine
1 dash Orange Bitters (housemade)
Apricot-flavored Brandy rinse
Lemon twist

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass pre-rinsed with apricot brandy. Garnish with a lemon twist.

On Monday, I met some friends for dinner before they went to the Red Sox game later that night. After I walked them to the entrance of Fenway, I rounded the corner and continued on to Eastern Standard where I was warmly welcomed by Kevin who made me my first drink.

They had just added the King's Yellow to the Standards part of their menu and redid their Lineage-Legacy menu to have Pimm's cocktails -- all new as of that day; Kit later wondered if I came in just to taste the new cocktails (as if I knew in advance of the menu update). I went with the King's Yellow to start. It was very similar to a cocktail I have made at home, the Caprice, save for a little more vermouth and Benedictine and the addition of the apricot brandy and lemon twist. While the lemon oils and upped proportions of the vermouth and Benedictine were a great addition to this cocktail, the apricot flavor was a little trampled upon by the Benedictine. Especially since the apricot bell ringer that No. 9 does with their Martini-variant is rather faint without the Benedictine in the cocktail. Kevin likened the cocktail in essence to the Alaska.

It was funny how just last week I had mentioned to Andrea how I used to make a lot of cocktails with Benedictine and lately very few. I wondered if it was me favoring other bitters, and she pointed out that she found it to be more of a fall/winter liqueur. So perhaps this makes King's Yellow (drank on Labor Day) this year's harbinger of autumn...