Tuesday, October 30, 2012

harry palmer

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse 100 Rye
2/3 oz Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Suze (Salers Gentiane Liqueur)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass or coupe and garnish with a cherry.

A few Saturdays ago, I decided to make the Harry Palmer created by Alastair Burgess from the Happiness Forgets bar in London. The recipe came from a book I took a chance on, namely Tom Sandham's World's Best Cocktails; the book itself is a coffee table number with lots of images, many classics, and a decent number of originals garnered from the author's travels around the world. While many of the drinks are bit too culinary for my tastes, there are a few gems like the Harry Palmer that appeal perfectly to my drink making aesthetic. The Harry Palmer was named after a character in Len Dieghton's 1962 spy novel, The Ipcress File.
Overall, the recipe reminded me of the White Negroni variation crafted at P.D.T. called the Brown Bomber; however, the sweet vermouth put the drink closer to a Manhattan variation than the Brown Bomber's Lillet Blanc. The Harry Palmer offered up a mainly vermouth aroma with subtle rye and gentian notes poking through. The sip was a grape flavor that was dried out due to the bitter liqueur, and the swallow offered up rye notes that were modulated by the Salers Gentian Liqueur. Indeed, the sweet vermouth's richness made this drink a bit more interesting than the Brown Bomber for my palate.

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