Monday, April 29, 2013

army & navy

2 oz Gin (Ryan & Wood Knockabout)
1/2 oz Orgeat (B.G. Reynolds)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

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

The Army-Navy has come up a lot in conversation and on cocktail menus as of late, and I figured it was time to investigate this drink. The recipe perhaps first appears in print in David Embury's The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, and Embury described it as a Gin Sour that uses orgeat instead of simple syrup. While Embury proffered his source of the original recipe as 2 parts gin to 1 part each lemon juice and orgeat, he recommended a tarter, more spirits driven 8:2:1 of the respective ingredients. Some of the recipes that I have spotted across town, such as at Trina's Starlite Lounge, include Angostura Bitters; indeed, Rumdood wrote a good post about 320 Main's house recipe (that includes two dashes) on their bar's blog. I ended up splitting the difference and adding a single dash of Angostura Bitters and putting the proportions between what Embury recommended and what he recorded as the original.
The lemon twist donated a bright citrus oil aroma that worked well with the gin notes. It also prepared the mouth for the lemony sip, and the swallow proffered gin, almond, and allspice flavors. With a natural orgeat like BG Reynolds, I felt that the bitters masked some of the beauty of the subtle nut notes; however, with an extract-driven orgeat like Fee's or Monin, the bitters probably give a richness of flavor that heightens the drink.

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