Friday, June 10, 2011

white heather

1/2 Booth's High & Dry (1 1/2 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin)
1/6 Cointreau (1/2 oz)
1/6 Pineapple Juice (1/2 oz)
1/6 Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz Noilly Prat)
1 dash Absinthe, if required only (1 barspoon Pernod)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Last Friday, I flipped through the Café Royal Cocktail Book in search of a nightcap. When I spotted the White Heather, I was curious as to what "Booth's High & Dry" was. My guesses of a whiskey or a gin were somewhat both right for it was a London Dry gin that had been aged in oak barrels. For a substitute, Seagram's aged gin was recommended; since I lacked that, I wondered if Ransom's gin would work. While it is an Old Tom instead of a London Dry, it does have barrel notes and some exquisite flavors that make many drinks taste better. Another oddity was that the recipe included juice yet specified that the drink to be stirred. I followed along, but I cannot imagine this drink being negatively affected by shaking except for the froth that shaking pineapple often produces. Finally, if the recipe suggests that absinthe should only be added if required, then whether I added it is pretty much a rhetorical question.
The pineapple and absinthe's anise provided much of the White Heather's aroma. An orange sip from the Cointreau was followed by the botanical notes of the gin, absinthe, and dry vermouth. The pineapple was a little hard to pinpoint in the drink and could have been pairing up with the Cointreau on the sip or possibly the absinthe and other herbal notes on the robust swallow. Perhaps the Ransom Old Tom was a little too flavorful and a regular London Dry gin would have worked better in terms of letting the pineapple shine more.

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