Sunday, February 12, 2012

oregon trail

1 3/4 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin
1/2 oz Yellow Charteuse
1/2 oz Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur
1/4 oz Soberano Brandy
4 drops Scrappy's Lavender Bitters

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

Two Fridays ago, I ventured down to Backbar and found a seat in front of bartender Joseph Cammarata. The item that intrigued me was the drink of the week, the Oregon Trail, created by bartender J.B. Bernstein. While the name made reference to the old computer game teaching kids about life out West in the 19th century, the drink taught imbibers about (18th and) 19th century style liquors made today out West. Indeed, the Old Tom Gin from Oregon's Ransom Spirits was the base for this herbal and floral number. While I had never had Zirbenz with Ransom's Old Tom before, I did enjoy it with Hayman's Old Tom in No. 9 Park's Bold Proposition.
The Oregon Trail began with a lemon oil aroma that was complemented by floral notes from the lavender bitters and perhaps elements of the Yellow Chartreuse. The sweeter aspect of the Yellow Chartreuse and the smooth brandy notes filled the sip; the brandy was added to this drink to donate a little extra body to the balance. The swallow began with pine notes from the Zirbenz and herbal elements from the gin; the swallow ended a little sharper with the Yellow Chartreuse and lavender notes. Luckily, true to the drink's description, no one died of dysentery that night.

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