Thursday, March 31, 2016

barnum was right

2/3 jigger Dry Gin (2 oz Beefeater)
1/3 jigger Apricot Brandy (1/2 oz Rothman & Winter)
1 dash Lime or Lemon Juice (1/2 oz Lime)
3 dash Angostura Bitters (2 light dashes)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Saturdays ago, I reached for Crosby Gaige's 1941 Cocktail Guide and Ladies' Companion and spotted the Barnum Was Right. I remember that this drink was on the menu at Russell House Tavern when I first started working there as one with peach brandy and lemon juice, and I believed that the bar manager sourced the recipe from Ted Haigh's book. Perhaps peach was chosen over the apricot to highlight a new bottle on the shelf or to differentiate it from the Pendennis Cocktail that graced the menu from time to time. While the origins of the Barnum Was Right are unknown according to Haigh, many drinks do first appear in Crosby Gaige's tome (although others appear as new-to-the-literature drink names using old recipes too).
I decided to increase the citrus and decrease the bitters to maintain a similar sweetness level; I figured that extra bitters would inhibit the other ingredients from singing as much. I also opted for lime as I had run out of lemons and had no other choice at the time. Once prepared, the Barnum Was Right shared an apricot, juniper, and winter spice aroma. Next, dry lime and orchard fruit on the sip led into pine, apricot, allspice, and clove on the swallow.


Dagreb said...

I think I know this one simply as Barnum

frederic said...

My last bar split the difference and called it "Barnum (Was Right)"...