Friday, March 1, 2013

the old (barbara) west

1 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin
3/4 oz Lustau Dry Amontillado Sherry
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Meletti Amaro
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
2 dash Angostura Bitters
1 pinch Salt

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Two Mondays ago, we headed down to the Blue Room for the third installment of Wild West-themed Whiskey & Amari Night. The hosts that evening were Sam Treadway of Backbar and Noon Inthasuwan of Moksa. While Andrea went with Noon's green tea-laden 6 Shots in My Gun, I opted for Sam's variation on the Barbara West he called the Old (Barbara) West. Though the recipe varied by including some amaro and simple syrup, the real game changer was a pinch of salt which altered the roll of the gin in the classic.
The lemon twist aroma joined that of a sweet grape. A slightly tart lemon and grape sip transitioned into a lightly herbal swallow with a pleasantly lemony finish. Indeed, the salt squashed a lot of the flavor of the hearty Ransom Old Tom Gin as well as that of the Meletti Amaro; however, as the drink warmed up, the swallow became more flavorful. Perhaps doubling the Meletti and removing the simple syrup would help push the swallow into a more herbal realm. Moreover, perhaps the salt helped to increase the perception of sweetness in this recipe that would otherwise appear to be rather dry and tart.

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