Monday, May 7, 2012

improved whiskey cocktail

2 oz Rittenhouse 100 Rye
1 barspoon Gomme Syrup (1/8 oz)
1 barspoon Maraschino Liqueur (1/8 oz)
4 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass rinsed with 2 spritzes of Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe. Twist a lemon peel over the top and discard.

For my other drink at Craigie on Main, I asked bartender Ann for the Improved Whiskey Cocktail that just appeared on the menu. I first had an Improved Cocktail for the 19th century-themed Mixology Monday where I made a Improved Gin Cocktail. There, I explained the two major improvements over the Fancy Cocktail which was an Old Fashioned gussied up with a dash or two of Curaçao, the hot new cocktail ingredient of the day, and which appeared in the 1862 edition of Jerry Thomas' book. The improvements showed up in the 1876 update of Thomas' book where the Fancy's Curaçao was swapped for Maraschino and the new hot ingredient -- absinthe. I also revisited the drink at the Bols Genever release party where the Improved Holland Gin Cocktail was showcased as a classic use of the spirit. However, I had never had the drink as a whiskey one, and I decided to take the Craigie's menu's suggestion that it was a good time to try it.
Much like a Sazerac, the Improved Whiskey Cocktail began with a lemon and anise nose. The malty sip led into a hot, flavorful rye swallow with light Maraschino notes and spice from the Angostura Bitters and absinthe. The drink did veer from the Sazerac for it lacked the specific color and flavors of Peychaud's Bitters and possessed the extra funky, nutty notes of Maraschino on the swallow.

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