Tuesday, August 10, 2010

three to one

1 1/2 oz 110 Proof Old Raj Gin
3/4 oz Rothman and Winter Orchard Apricot
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass.

As the Red Sox game was drifting into the later innings, I decided to leave Eastern Standard and make my way home or perhaps elsewhere. At that point, I just knew that I needed a change of venues. I also knew that I did not want to get on the subway and have to take the shuttle bus from Park Street to Kendall, so walking in the direction of Central Square seemed like a good idea. Once at the corner of Commonwealth and Mass Ave, I guided myself in the direction of Clio to see if Todd Maul was at the stick. While this move did not get me out of the Kenmore area for when the Red Sox game soon let out, I figured that Clio would not be influenced as much by the efflux.
Todd was indeed there although his new haircut coupled with his glasses threw me for a second; however, Todd's game was not thrown in the slightest, and he already had a drink idea for me the moment I sat down. The Three to One from Ted Haigh's book was what he proposed. I wondered for a second if the drink was the "Three-Two-One" which the recipe almost matches if the apricot liqueur was boosted a notch. Haigh cites the drink's origin as the Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar before Prohibition; furthermore, the name refers to a horse having 3:1 odds at the track. Todd was amazed at how overproof gin knocks back the sweetness of the drink. This was something that was discussed at the "At Full Sail: The History and Application of Spirits at Proof, Navy Strength, and Overproof" session at Tales of the Cocktail this year. Haigh described the spirit requirements as, "A powerful gin is needed to stand up to the rich-sweet flavor of apricot liqueur and the acid of the lime."

While Haigh calls for a 100 proof gin, Todd grabbed for the 110 proof Old Raj from Cadenhead. The Three to One greeted me with an apricot aroma accompanying a hint of lime. Perhaps a freshly cut lime wedge as Haigh's recipe calls for would have added this aroma, but generally wedges and wheels serve more as eye candy (or something to fiddle with to negligibly adjust the balance). I was impressed at how well the heat of the gin cut into the apricot and lime flavors. The overproof nature of the gin was not overwhelming after the dilution process during shaking, but the extra punch was definitely noted.


Unknown said...

For some reason I've never made this, I am going to have to do so in the near future. It never hit me to use the Old Raj (my favorite gin!) in it.

frederic said...

What other overproof gins are there?

I know that Laird's makes a low end 100 proof one (yes, the quality apple people make a crappy gin in the off season). Martin Miller and Plymouth make navy strength products that you can never find in this country.

dave said...

How much do you figure the 3% ABV difference between Beefeater/Tanqueray and a 100 proof gin would really make? As you note, overproof gins (100+) are in short supply, but there are many quality products available with proofs in the 90s. Obviously when one starts comparing Old Raj or Plymouth navy strength to commonly available gins the difference is much more substantial.

frederic said...

No clue. I figure that you could increase the proof in the end result by putting the bottle in the fridge or freezer. There would be less ice melt that way (after shaking or stirring) which would up the end product's ABV without affecting the end temperature.