Monday, November 2, 2009

golfer's special

1/3 Cherry Brandy (1 oz, Trimbach Kirsch, see text)
1/3 Dry Gin (1 oz, North Shore Distillers No. 6)
1/6 Lillet Blanc (1/2 oz)
1/6 Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
On Friday night, I flipped through the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book looking for a drink to make; the Golfer's Special seemed rather intriguing with the cherry brandy and Lillet so we decided to give it a go. The identity of "cherry brandy" was a little confusing but I figured it meant kirsch instead of a cherry liqueur such as Cherry Heering or Maraschino since an eau de vie better matched the subtlety of Lillet in my mind than the other forms. Indeed, the Golfer's Special was delightful with kirsch and gin flavors up front and lemony and Lillet flavors on the swallow. The drink was rather dry and tart over all, and while it was enjoyable to drink, it made me wonder if I had made the proper choice. Therefore, I made the drink with Cherry Heering and switched the gin to a hardier one, Beefeater. While the drink was no longer sharply dry, the Heering was too dominant and it donated a syrupy, winey component to the mix and made my mind think that there was Dubonnet in it. Although I did not try Maraschino liqueur, I did add a barspoon of simple syrup to my first drink which seemed to split the difference in sweetness without masking the more subtle flavors. The touch of sugar made the drink a bit less sharp and might be a good addition to the Golfer's Special for many people when making the recipe with a dry eau de vie.

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