Sunday, September 19, 2010

pall mall

1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin
1/2 oz Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Martini & Rossi Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Crème de Cacao
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Twist an orange peel over the top.

On Monday, Andrea and I went over to Eastern Standard for dinner and drinks after my DJ set was over. The menu had a few new drinks including this one, the Pall Mall, which appeared in the "Heritage" section. I have spotted the Pall Mall recipe in the past in books like the Savoy Cocktail Book, Boothby's 1934 World Drinks And How To Mix Them, and the Café Royal Cocktail Book; however, these recipes list crème de menthe not crème de cacao as the liqueur. I am not sure where this variation originated for I did not ask and I could not find it later in the first dozen books I opened in my library. My curiosity was piqued enough to ask bartender Jim Lane to make me one. Plus, it gave me the opportunity to joke with bartender Hugh Fiore and ask in a raspy voice, "Hon, would you be a dear and get me a pack of Pall Malls." While it is possible that the drink was named after the cigarette, it could be named after what the cigarette was named for. The cigarette was introduced as one of the first premium brands in 1899 which puts it in the right time period; while the cigarette's name stemmed from a croquet-like game (also spelled paille-maille), the drink also could have been named after an upscale street in the West End of London.
The Pall Mall started with an orange oil aroma. The sip was almost citrussy with the dry vermouth pairing up with the orange bitters and twist's oils, and the swallow contained the gin, vermouth botanicals, and cacao notes. The strongest flavor pairing was the sweet vermouth and the crème de cacao; I could imagine this match-up working even better if the richer Carpano Antica was used instead of Martini & Rossi. Even without the crème de menthe, the botanicals in the mix combined to contribute some sort of mint-like impression.

No comments: