Monday, January 17, 2011


1 oz Gin (Death's Door)
1 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly pRat)
Juice 1/2 Tangerine (~1 oz)
1 small dash Cointreau (1/2 barspoon)
1 tsp Grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After flipping through Jimmy Late Of Ciro's the week before, I was reminded of the Luigi. My desire to make this cocktail and the availability of tangerines have never lined up before, but alas, when we went grocery shopping, I noticed that tangerines were in season! Instead of Jimmy Late's recipe, I went to the earliest source I knew of, that being Robert Vermeire's Cocktails: How to Mix Them. Vermeire described how the drink was invented by Mr. Luigi Naintré, the proprietor of the Embassy Club, and he claimed that this drink was one of the most popular cocktails in London for a while. Personally, tangerines remind me of my youth; my mom used to pack them in my lunchbox in grade school as they are easy for kids to peel and are less sticky to handle than oranges. Moreover, the concept of tangerine juice in the Luigi also intrigued me as I was reminded of how citrus variety can modulate a drink's balance such as when I had the Satan's Whiskers made with sour oranges.
The Luigi's aroma sang out with tangerine and juniper notes. A relatively dry tangerine-flavored sip was graced with gin and dry vermouth notes on the swallow. Not surprising was that the scant amounts of grenadine and Cointreau were rather subtle in the flavor profile. What was surprising though was how the tangerine juice did not dull out the drink like orange juice can and how it contributed a more elegant flavor; indeed, the Luigi was much more interesting than an Orange Blossom or Bronx due to the citrus choice.

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