Thursday, November 6, 2014

chauncey depew

Jigger 2/3 Sherry (1 1/2 oz Lustau Dry Oloroso)
1/3 Italian Vermouth (3/4 oz Dolin Sweet)
Dash Angostura Bitters
Orgeat Syrup (3/8 oz)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Tuesdays ago, I returned to the wine section of Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and got lured in by the Chauncey Depew. Depew was a United States Senator from New York from 1899-1911, and perhaps the Chauncey from the Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book was named after him too. The latter book only provided the speculation that it "must have been named after the most distinguished person of that prenomen, a famous orator and wit." What drew me in was the fact that the Chauncey Depew cocktail reminded me of a sherry-(and vermouth)-ified Japanese Cocktail minus the lemon twist!
The cocktail provided a nutty grape aroma that was supplemented by the orgeat syrup as well a hint of spice notes from the Angostura Bitters. A sweet grape sip then gave way to a nutty sherry and almondy orgeat swallow with a spice finish. Overall, the Chauncey Depew was softer and less Old Fashioned-like than the Japanese Cocktail (as I interpreted the vague recipe), and the pairing of oxidative sherries and orgeat is always a synergistic win.

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