Tuesday, September 28, 2010

brandy fix

2 oz Landy VSOP Cognac
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz Pineapple Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Ornament with grapes and berries in season (blackberry, blueberries, mint). Serve with a straw.

Last Tuesday, I made my way down to No. 9 Park where bartender Ted Kilpatrick was presiding. For my first drink, I requested something made with brandy, and Ted replied that he was really excited about the Brandy Fix found in Harry Johnson's New & Improved Illustrated Bartender's Manual and asked if I wanted to give it a try. Despite a few changes to the proportions, his version was pretty true to Johnson's recipe. Keeping it old school was important for Ted will be serving this drink at an event at the Boston Athenaeum in early October. In addition, Eastern Standard's Kevin Martin and Drink's Josey Packard will also be making drinks at that event as well.
Honestly, I had never had a Fix before, and when I was reading David Embury a few weeks ago, I realized this. Fixes lost out to Daisies like (mint) Smashes lost out to Juleps. According to Embury, Fixes are pretty much the same as Daisies -- both are Sours with a flavored syrup or liqueur for the sweetener instead of sugar or simple syrup -- except that Fixes generally call for pineapple syrup and Daisies often specify raspberry syrup or grenadine. True, there are recipes such as Jerry Thomas' that contradict this, but Embury at least made an attempt to differentiate things.

This Fix started with a visually attractive assortment of berries in season and an aromatically alluring combination of brandy and mint. The sip was a sweet pineapple and lemon flavor followed by green Chartreuse complexity on the swallow. Overall, this drink could do no wrong, and its magic has certainly help up since Johnson transcribed it over a century ago.

1 comment:

Randy said...

I finally made my way over to No. 9 too to get Ted's Brandy Fix that I was dying to try after reading your post. Really excellent, and I loved the crushed huckleberries he floated on top. Very fitting too -- I was in a fix for a Fix and that Fix turned out to be my Huckleberry. Thanks for the suggestion Fred and keep up the great posts!