For this theme, I wanted to focus on a recipe that featured mainly vermouth. Such drinks are a lot lighter than spirit-based cocktails and often work better when confronted with an empty stomach. Recipes that popped into my head, such as Half Sinner-Half Saint, Fig Leaf, Chrysantemum, and Bamboo, all fit the bill except that I had already written about them. To start my search for a new recipe, I opened up my copy of Patrick Duffy's The Official Mixer's Manual (1975 edition) for it has a section dedicated to aperitif wine-centric recipes. There I found the recipe for the Nineteen which was consists of more than half dry vermouth, and after reading the rest of the ingredients, I was intrigued. Seeking back for an older recipe, the same proportions as Duffy's appear in the the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book, while variations appear in Boothby, Stan Jones, and Esquire.
NineteenIndeed, the two-thirds part vermouth made the Nineteen rather light and easy to drink. On the sip, the first sensation at the tip of the tongue was a sweet fruit note from the kirsch and simple syrup with perhaps augmented by citrus peel flavors from the vermouth. Next came the absinthe followed by a combination of the winy-ness of the vermouth plus botanical notes from the gin. The drink did prove to be an outstanding aperitif cocktail and prepared our palates well for the dinner that was about to be served.
• 2/3 Dry Vermouth (2 oz Dolin)
• 1/6 Dry Gin (1/2 oz Aviation)
• 1/6 Kirsch (1/2 oz Trimbach)
• 1 barspoon Absinthe (1/8 oz Kübler)
• 4 dash Simple Syrup (1/4 oz)
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.