Tuesday, September 1, 2009


1 1/2 oz Brandy (Courvoisier VS)
2 dash Orgeat Syrup (1 barspoon Ferrara Orzata)
1 dash Boker's Bitters (Homemade (*))

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glas. Garnish with a lemon peel.
(*) Substitute Angostura or Fee's Whiskey Barrel Bitters otherwise

The above recipe for the Japanese came from The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book but the rationale for seeking it out was two fold. One was that we had just bought a decent bottle of orgeat from the local Italian specialty store (Capone Foods in Union Square, Somerville). The other was a list that Chuck Taggart of GumboPages posted on Facebook; it was of 100 cocktails that Bobby Heugel of Anvil in Houston thinks everyone should try at least once. Picking from the 29 remaining, the Japanese became the first targeted strike on the list. It was a drink I had always thought of making but usually skipped in preference of something more flashy.
The Japanese was full of spicy almond richness in a Brandy Old Fashioned sort of format. The drink proved to be a good display of the new orgeat due to the simplicity of the recipe which was basically a slightly sweetened and bittered jigger of brandy. I am glad that the Anvil's list finally pushed me to try this classic cocktail, and perhaps I will be able to reach my goal of completing the list by the end of 2009.

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