Wednesday, July 29, 2015

astoria, oregon

1 1/2 oz Monkey 47 Gin
1 oz Cocchi Americano
1/2 oz Banks White Rum

Stir with ice and strain in a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with an orange twist.
After the talks on Friday, I attended a Monkey 47 Gin event at Bellocq that featured bartenders Sean Hoard, Jim Meehan, and Kirik Estopinal. For a drink, I asked Kirk for the Astoria, Oregon, and later got the recipe and some further details from Jim. The Astoria that appeared in the Savoy Cocktail Book was essentially a Martini with 2/3 gin, 1/3 dry vermouth, and 1 dash orange bitters served in a cocktail glass with a stuffed olive garnish. Jim confirmed that there was no orange bitters in this variation, and I assumed that the change to Cocchi Americano from dry vermouth added this extra citrus note. With rum in the mix, the combination reminded me of the B.V.D. which in the Savoy Cocktail Book was equal parts Bacardi Rum, dry vermouth, and dry gin.
Astoria, Oregon, is located on the mouth of the Columbia River and was where the Lewis and Clark Expedition spent the winter in 1805-6 hoping that a ship would rescue them and take them home, but instead, they ended up enduring the winter and returning east the same way they came. Indeed, I never found out why Sean named his drink after the sleepy port city save for the similarity in name to the section of Queens that the classic is named after. Once prepared, it offered an orange aroma that prepared the mouth for a light citrus wine sip. On the swallow, juniper and other gin botanicals with a hint of rum funk blended into an orange finish. Overall, there was bit more intrigue and less starkness than a classic Martini which made it a bit more approachable to me.

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