1 1/2 oz Hayman's Old Tom Gin
1 1/2 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz Crème Yvette
3 dash Regan's Orange Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I stopped into Park Restaurant in Harvard Square. The drink on the menu that caught my eye was the Defender. Bartender Daren Swisher explained that it was not a house original but one that appears in the Old Waldorf Bar Days from 1931; he explained the history about the recipe being named after an American sailing ship that defeated in the British in the late 19th century America's Cup races. The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book from 1935 explains, "The name of an American yacht which took care of one of Sir Thomas Lipton's early but seemingly endless 'Shamrocks.'"
The Defender's orange twist complemented the drink's gin and fruity aroma. The vermouth's grape and the Yvette's berry filled the sip, and the swallow began with gin and ended with a bitter floral finish. Overall, the Defender reminded me a lot of the classic Trilby.
The euphemisms are getting a bit stale, suffice to say: four people in Boston -- two of whom are much more prolific writers than the other two (including the originator of this blog, who has no excuse apart from laziness) -- who drink and tell.