Monday, February 24, 2014

merry widow cocktail

1/2 Dry Gin (1 1/4 oz Wireworks)
1/2 Dry Vermouth (1 1/4 Dolin)
2 dash Benedictine (3/8 oz)
3 dash Absinthe (1/8 oz Butterfly)
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

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

Two Thursdays ago, I opened up Hugo Ensslin's 1916 Recipes for Mixed Drinks and spotted the Merry Widow Cocktail. The combination of gin, dry vermouth, Benedictine, and absinthe reminded me of the Joan Blondell with different proportions and bitters, so I was definitely willing to give this one a go. If I had to guess, I assume the drink was named after the operetta The Merry Widow that opened in 1905 and later got adapted into film and was still rather popular when Ensslin published his book.
The Merry Widow Cocktail began with a lemon oil and herbal aroma with hints of anise. A dry wine sip led into a swallow where the gin melded with the Benedictine's herbal and the absinthe and Peychauds' spice notes.

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