Tuesday, October 21, 2008

[old tom gin, apple brandy, and st. germain]

1 3/4 oz. Old Tom Gin
1/2 oz. Apple Brandy (Laird's 7 1/2 year old was used)
1/4 oz. St. Germain
1 dash Bittermens Orange No. 9

Stir with cracked ice, strain and serve in a cocktail glass. Squeeze a lemon peel over the drink and discard.

My inaugural cocktail at Drink, consumed (with much relish) 13 October. When Fred and I walked into Drink, we spotted Ben on the right-hand wing of the bar, John on the left, and a vaguely familiar-looking fellow in the center. John's bar looked a tiny bit too crowded, and Ben seemed distracted by a crowd of industry-looking people, so we selected the middle section and it was just right.

We sat down and Sam, our bartender, introduced himself. In case the reader isn't familiar with the format of Drink, there are no cocktail menus - the bartender must rely on expert communication and practically encyclopedic knowledge to come up with a beverage that (s)he thinks you might like, based on few clues. I was in the mood for a gin-based cocktail, and stated that I preferred my cocktails on the drier side. Sam said he's been working on a gin cocktail with just a wee bit of St. Germain - enough to impart the distinct elderflower flavor without a hefty slug of sweetness. I've enjoyed many tequila-based cocktails made with St. Germain - the smokiness of the tequila cuts the sweet quite nicely - but I find most other St. Germain cocktails to be too candied for my palate.

It was fun to watch Sam at work in Mr. Gertsen's apothecary - he exactingly measured out the proportions in little stainless OXO measuring cups, and dispensed the bitters using a medicine dropper. In keeping with another of Drink's gimmicks, the bottles are kept under the bar, and one is consequently forced into opening a dialog with the bartender in order to ascertain which brand of spirit was used in his/her creation. Imagine my delight when Sam told me that he used the newly-available Old Tom Gin in my cocktail. The Old Tom tastes practically ambrosial in the Ramos Gin Fizz, and it functioned much the same way in this (unnamed) cocktail. Indeed, this drink was perfectly balanced, and I made up my mind right at that moment that John had found yet another bartender who *gets it*.

While I sipped this ethereal delight, Teardrop by Massive Attack came on Drink's speakers. I could almost imagine dancing around this somewhat austere basement industrial space, much like a certain club we used to frequent.

No comments: