Thursday, January 13, 2011


4 part Brandy (2 oz Pedro Domecq Fundador Solera Reserva)
1 part Sweet Vermouth (1/2 oz Vya)
1 part Orange Juice (1/2 oz)
1 dash Absinthe (1/2 barspoon La Muse Verte)

Shake with ice and double strain into a cocktail glass. I added an orange twist.

Last Friday, I began to flip through my 1930 reprint of Jimmy Late Of Ciro's as it was still on the kitchen counter after researching the X.Y.Z. (spotting it there was what triggered me to consider the drink and hunt out the original in Vermeire). There, I spotted the Prestoman, and the recipe made me think of a brandy-based Monkey Gland albeit with the grenadine swapped out for sweet vermouth. After making the drink, I discovered that Erik Ellestad had written about the recipe as it appears in the Savoy Cocktail Book as the Presto Cocktail; moreover, Erik traced the Prestoman back to Harry McElhone's 1927 Barflies and Cocktails. Erik made the similar comparison to the brandy Monkey Gland, but he also compared it to a brandy Maurice (a Bronx made with a dash of pastis).
The Prestoman greeted the senses with an anise and orange aroma. On the sip, the brandy's richness combined with the smoothness of the orange juice, while the swallow highlighted the herbal complexity from the vermouth and absinthe. Indeed, the extra body from the Spanish brandy and extra flavor from the sweet vermouth made the Prestoman a bit superior to the Monkey Gland in my book.

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