Tuesday, January 3, 2012


1 1/2 oz George Dickel Whiskey
1 1/2 oz House Rosé Vermouth (*)
1/2 oz Crème de Cacao

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass.
(*) A recipe for this strawberry-infused vermouth can be found here. A less labor intensive way would be to infuse 6 sliced strawberries in a 750 mL bottle of commercially available rosé vermouth (such as Cinzano or Martini and Rossi) for several days before filtering. Or downscaling to 1 strawberry per every 4 oz. In the Jackson's recipe, the fortifying brandy is infused with the strawberries (instead of the lower proof end product), so it may take more than the 2 days listed there.

On Christmas Eve, Andrea and I made our yearly pilgrimage to Eastern Standard to celebrate the holiday. Many thanks to Kit Paschal, Hugh Fiore, and Naomi Levy for keeping the tradition alive by manning the bar that night. For my first drink, I asked Naomi for the Augusta which sounded rather tempting with its strawberry and chocolate notes over a Dickel Tennessee Whiskey base. While George Dickel is best known for creating the whiskey, the distillery was founded in conjunction with his wife Augusta in 1870. Or according to some historians, they contracted distillers Matthew Sims and McLin Davis that year to start making spirits for them. Regardless of which version is the truth, Augusta Dickel was the company's chief financier and later inherited it after George's demise. In her honor, this drink was created.
The Augusta offered a chocolate and strawberry aroma that led into a light fruity grape sip. The whiskey provided much of the swallow's flavor that was softened by the cacao; moreover, the vermouth's botanicals including a distinctive wormwood note finished the drink. I was quite impressed at how the chocolate notes in the liqueur helped to emphasize the berry aspect of their rosé vermouth in the Augusta.

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