Tuesday, June 21, 2011


1 oz Tanqueray Gin
1 1/4 oz Cocchi Americano
3/4 oz Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Sambuca

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After stopping in at Green Street, it was time to rendezvous with Andrea at Temple Bar outside of Harvard Square. While waiting for Andrea to show, I asked bartender Sam Gabrielli for the Staghorn from their cocktail menu. Bar manager Alex Homans later explained that each of the bartenders had a chance to put a drink on the menu and the Staghorn was bartender Jane's take on the Corpse Reviver #2. Here, the major change was the orange liqueur being swapped out for a pine tree-flavored one. While the Staghorn also called for Sambuca instead of absinthe or pastis, all of those spirits share a similar strong anise flavor. Switching the ingredients in the Corpse Reviver #2 was something I had recently discussed for some books published during the 1940's contain a variation with Swedish Punsch instead of Lillet; I first find that change in my 1945 reprint of the 1941 Crosby Gaige's Cocktail Guide and Ladies' Companion.
The Zirbenz component shaped the Staghorn the most in the nose and the swallow. Indeed, the Zirbenz's pine notes mingled well with the traditional anise aroma. The sip was semi-sweet and contained the citrus notes from the lemon juice and Cocchi Americano, and this was chased by the botanical burst from the gin and Zirbenz on the swallow. Indeed, the Staghorn had a sharper and more intriguing balance than the orange liqueur-laden Corpse Reviver #2. It was definitely interesting to have the liqueur being altered instead of the spirit, such as in the # Tres, or the citrus, such as in the Dover (albeit sans anise flavor), in the classic recipe.

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