Tuesday, April 10, 2012

penn r.r. sour

1 tsp Simple Syrup
2 tsp Lemon Juice
2/3 wine glass Old Crow Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Bulleit Bourbon)
1/3 wine glass Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino)

Stir with ice and strain into a Sour glass garnished with fruit. Add a dash of Jamaican rum (1 tsp Smith & Cross, floated) and a dash of abricotine (1/4 tsp Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot, floated).

Two Saturdays ago, the drink that called out to me was the Penn R.R. Sour from James Maloney 1900 book, The Twentieth-Century Cocktail Guide for Mixing Fancy Drinks. Maloney paid tribute to the Pennsylvania Railroad which reached out from the East Coast westward to where he worked in Chicago. While the Sour did not have his trademarked bell-ringer rinse of apricot brandy, the liqueur was included as a floated dash to contribute to the drink's aromatics.
At first, both the rum and apricot aromas dominated the nose; part of the way through the glass though, the rum's contribution dissipated and the Bourbon began to appear. On the tongue, the crisp grape sip led into a whiskey and tart lemon swallow that had hints of funky rum notes. The drink did come across as a soured Manhattan in an acidic and not especially a citrus sort of way; moreover, stirring the Sour instead of shaking it was also quite unusual. In addition, the Penn R.R. Sour shared similarities in composition to his Manhattan Bell-Ringer.


David said...

Where do you place Cocchi on the vermouth continuum?

As luck would have it I had some Old Crow in the garage. With Cinzano and Coruba for the float it makes a very nice drink.


frederic said...

One thing I really like about the Cocchi is that it is made with red wine along with Vya, Carpano Antica, and Punt e Mes (if you consider PeM a vermouth); this adds some richness to the flavor. Most sweet vermouths actually use white wine that they color with caramel coloring and other herbs.

This is my first rodeo with the Cocchi. I found the Carpano too flavorful for many drinks (perfect for some) and too pricy. Cocchi is softer and cheaper ($20 instead of $30-32). Cinzano, Martini & Rossi, Noilly Prat, and Dolin all make respectable vermouths.