Tuesday, December 1, 2009


1/4 Bacardi Rum (1/2 oz Rhum JM Blanc, see text)
1/4 Pineapple Juice (1/2 oz)
1/4 Sweet Plymouth Gin (1/2 oz Hayman's Old Tom, see text)
1/4 Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz Dolin)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Ratio in the recipe was shorthand for fractions of a jigger (1 1/2 oz), and this was upped to fractions of 2 oz here.

Last week, I was flipping through our new Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars (1903-1933) book and I spotted the Checkers cocktail. The equal parts nature and the mixing of gin and rum intrigued me and reminded me slightly of the Between the Sheets (four equal parts with rum and brandy, not rum and gin). Beneath the recipe, there were two notes in regards to the spirits. One was about the Bacardi Rum of that era. The editors recommended either Cuban rum (like Havana Club) or a rhum agricole to mimic that style, and we opted for the latter. The second was about the Sweet Plymouth Gin which is no longer made; the editors suggested using regular Plymouth Gin, but we opted for Old Tom, a sweet gin style.
Once mixed, pineapple was rather strong on the nose and was the first flavor detected on the sip. The pineapple notes melded smoothly into the funky rhum agricole flavors on the beginning of the taste, and this combination was followed by the herbal notes of the gin and vermouth on the swallow. The Checkers was not overly dry with the only sweetness stemming from the gin and the pineapple juice. Andrea wondered if the drink would benefit from a dash of absinthe in the mix; looking back, a gin, vermouth, and pineapple combination with Herbsaint was rather delightful in the Beaux Arts, so perhaps that recommendation for a Checkers variant would be quite tasty.


Ken Moorhead said...

Bookmarked this cocktail for sure... seems like one I'd really like.

PS - This has become one of my top cocktail blogs to visit. I *love* your format and the drinks you post. Great work!

frederic said...

Thanks! Recipe-forward was how Jess set it up and I kept with the format.