Friday, July 8, 2011

don't give up the ship

1 1/2 oz Gin
1 dash Dubonnet Rouge (1/2 oz)
1 dash Fernet Branca (1/4 oz)
1 dash Curaçao (1/4 oz)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Since we had an open bottle of Dubonnet in the house, it was time to try another drink I had on my list, namely the Don't Give Up the Ship. I had tasted a Dubonnet-free variation made for me by John Gertsen at Drink; however, I felt that the Dubonnet would soften the gin and Fernet Branca and it was worth revisiting. The earliest recipe I was able to find was in my 1945 reprint of the 1941 Crosby Gaige's Cocktail Guide and Ladies' Companion, and I also spotted it in our 1948 reprint of the 1947 Trader Vic. For an interpretation of what the three dash measurements equate to, I used the recipe on CocktailDB; for the garnish, I went with the lemon twist that appears in Gaige but not in either Vic or CocktailDB. The drink name refers to the dying command of James Lawrence, the captain of the USS Chesapeake, during the War of 1812. Lawrence sailed his ship into Boston Harbor to attack a British vessel; while he was outgunned and lost the confrontation, his words became a battle cry for the American fleet.
The lemon oil from the twist was a nice touch for it prepared the senses for the citrus elements in the drink. Indeed, the sip was a light orange flavor with grape notes from the Curaçao and Dubonnet. The gin made up most of the swallow save for a light, lingering tingle from Fernet Branca's botanicals. While the Don't Give Up the Ship was still very much a gin drink, the Dubonnet aided the Curaçao in softening the gin and Fernet Branca a notch.

8 comments:

erik_flannestad said...

That is a very full glass.

erik_flannestad said...

PS. These drinks with dashes of Aromatized wine make no sense to me. I've even seen some recipes with dashes of French Vermouth. You might as well add water.

frederic said...

Don't give up the sip!

The prevalence of spirit + 2-4 modifying dashes is way too abundant. I usually skip right over them in books like Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933, although if I take a heftier concept of what a dash is, maybe I'll re-explore those.

Dagreb said...

Indeed that glass is full! I may try this out with Wincarnis...

:P

frederic said...

Yeah, that Heisey glass is on the vintage side of cocktail volumes...

Did you get Wincarnis abroad or is it just something special that Canada can get?

Dagreb said...

I bought the Wincarnis locally though it is made in the UK and supposedly popular in Jamaica. There is a not insignificant West Indies population in Ontario so I wonder if it, and perhaps J Wray Red Label, is a product that was requested enough that the LCBO stated carrying it/them. Hmm, I wonder if that's similar to how Peardrax came to be in so many spermarkets here...

Nick Graham said...

This is very similar to the Napolean recipe in the Cafe Royal Cocktail Book

frederic said...

True it's the same recipe, but the Don't Give up the Ship seems to have won out here in Boston for the name of the same set of ingredients and vague recipe.