Tuesday, March 15, 2011

berkeley hotel cocktail

3/4 oz Gin (North Shore #6)
3/4 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
3/4 oz Strega

Stir with ice and strain into a small cocktail glass.

Last Tuesday, I received my copy of the Big Bartender's Book from Cocktail Kingdom. The book is a collection of recipes hand selected by book collectors Greg Boehm and Jeff Masson. One of the great things about the book, beside their taste in drinks, is that they provide a historical reference to who created the recipe and where the recipe was found. Moreover, beside all of the old recipes, there is a good number of modern creations to round out the collection. In addition, the index at the end organizes recipes by their ingredients which was helpful in finding a good use for our new bottle of Strega. The book was a great deal at $9.95 although I needed to order another Yarai mixing glass to soften the blow of the shipping cost.
For a drink, I chose the Berkeley Hotel Cocktail that was originally published in a 1930s Booth's Gin anthology of recipes. As an equal parts recipe with gin, vermouth, and liqueur, it reminded me of a Negroni so I felt it was a great way to be reacquainted with Strega after having tasted it two years ago in Evan Harrison's Nonantum. The drink's nose was full of aromas from the Strega and gin. While the sip was rather subtle with a hint of spice, the swallow was very herbal and contained rosemary, star anise, and mint flavors. Perhaps the drink ended up a little too Strega-heavy but this did not detract from my enjoyment of it. Strangely, I had always thought that Strega and Yellow Chartreuse were rather similar, but upon tasting it straight and in the drink, Strega reminded me more of the reformulated Galliano. Lastly, Andrea commented how unusually flavored the Strega-laden drink was and added how this drink would make a great digestif.


Anonymous said...

No Strega in the house so I just spun this one up with Benadictine and it is quite good. A sweet tooth's Negroni!

frederic said...

With Benedictine, it would be very similar to a Joan Blondell that I wrote about here or the Caprice that Chuck Taggart wrote about on the Gumbo Pages. Definitely a combination that works well!

Anonymous said...

Somehow I managed to miss the Joan Blondell post, but I'll definitely add the absinthe and Ango next time around to see where it takes this one. Used old favorite Boodles gin with the Noily Prat and Benedictine and thought it worked well.