Monday, March 14, 2011

[little otik]

2 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin
1/2 oz Becherovka
1/2 oz Cocchi Americano
1 dash Orange Bitters

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

After hearing that Alex Homans, one of the bartenders at Russell House Tavern, left to take over as the bar program at Temple Bar in Cambridge, Andrea and I have been meaning to go pay Alex a visit. Two Sundays ago, we finally stopped in for dinner and drinks. While Alex has been adjusting to the new bar and position, he has not had a lot of chance to rework the menu, but he did have an idea for my first drink. Alex paired up the spicy barrel-aged Ranson Old Tom Gin with the Czech herbal liqueur Becherovka; to balance these elements, he filled in the gaps with citrus notes from Cocchi Americano, orange bitters, and a lemon twist.
The citrus elements were rather strong in the early parts of the drink including the lemony aroma and the light citrusy sip from the Cocchi Americano. The swallow though displayed the spicy and herbal elements of the Old Tom and the Becherovka that were capped off with an orange note from the bitters at the end. Indeed, I was impressed at how well the two spicy spirits complemented each other in the drink.
For my second beverage, I was tempted to try either the barrel-aged Negroni or Cherry Valance cocktails, but I took Alex's recommendation to sample the Chatham Artillery Punch. The recipe was a hybrid of two historical ones that the previous bar manager had found and merged. The green tea, lemon and orange juice, and other fruit notes did a rather good job hiding the potency of the rum, brandy, rye whiskey, and sparkling wines in the mix.


erik.ellestad said...

The Little Otik does sound quite nice, though I would need to score some Bechrovka to be able to make it. I believe that can happen. +1 hit points for a name from a Jan Svankmajer movie!

frederic said...

Becherovka comes and goes around here with the seasons although I believe that they've had some distribution problems as of late. There are definitely bottles here in Boston (although when Bobby McCoy of Eastern Standard/ICOB was competing in the Benedictine competition, he had to borrow a bottle from a personal collection to compete).

No clue if the name will stick (the drink was nameless) or if the drink will go through further modifications.