Thursday, May 26, 2011

fog cutter

1 oz Brugal Añejo Rum
3/4 oz Bombay Dry Gin
3/4 oz Soberano Brandy De Jerez
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Trader Tiki Orgeat
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice cubes. Float a mixture of a 1/2 oz Broadbent Malmsey Madeira and 1/2 oz La Gitana Fino Sherry. Add straws and garnish with an orange slice and a lemon twist.

Two Tuesdays ago, I stopped into No. 9 Park for a drink. When the conversation switched to the Mai Tai Swizzle I had last time, bartender Ted Kilpatrick asked if I had ever had a Fog Cutter. Ted's version was a modification of Trader Vic's recipe; beside some proportion adjustments, Ted replaced the Amontillado sherry he had used with a combination of Fino sherry and Madeira.
The Fog Cutter began with a lemon oil aroma; the sherry and Madeira float did not contribute much to the bouquet for they actually sank. Ted mentioned that this usually happens, and perhaps it is due to the reduced amount of fruit juice and orgeat syrup relative to the base spirits in his recipe. The sip contained a citrus element that paired elegantly with a light caramel note from the barrel-aged spirits. Lastly, the swallow proffered the orgeat's almond, the Angostura's spice, the sherry and Madeira's wine notes, and the spirits' heat. Overall, I found the Fog Cutter to be spicier and more flavorful than many Tiki drinks, and it was unusual in that the recipe calls for 3 different base spirits. Others, like the Suffering Bastard, call for no more than two types; in addition, there are plenty that specify multiple varieties of the same spirit like the 3 rums in the 1934 Zombie. Here though, rum, gin, and brandy all contribute to the flavor profile and strength of the Fog Cutter. Over time, the balance did shift from spirits driven to juice driven as the ice melted and diluted the drink.


Jordan said...

The Scorpion is pretty much the same, albeit with slightly different ingredients. I'm a big fan of the Steve Crane version:

Doug Winship said...

That lsounds like a big improvement over the Trader Vic original recipe I've always used. I never liked how much lemon juice there was, but couldn't keep it balanced when I reduced it.
It also just LOOKS much better than what I've done before.
I have to try this when next I have some sherry again.

frederic said...

Jordan, thanks for the reminder. We will have to visit the Scorpion soon; it has been perverted by name by Chinese restaurants serving Scorpion Bowls.

Doug, I think many Tiki recipes have too much juice. Perhaps because they are covering up cheap booze or perhaps their clientele doesn't actually want to taste the booze much. But a lot of juice plus ice melt = limp drink in my book.

The Painkiller that Eastern Standard made me had the juice toned down a lot (I want to say from 6 to 3 oz) which probably improved the drink (for my tastes).