Saturday, August 20, 2016

rock island

2/3 Rye Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Sazerac)
1/3 Sweet Vermouth (1 oz Alessio)
1 dash Crème de Cassis (1/4 oz Massenez)
1 dash Picon Bitters (1/4 oz Amer Picon)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Sundays ago, I returned to Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 to find any gems that I had passed over. The Rock Island caught my eye as a Liberal Cocktail (essentially a Manhattan embittered with Picon) darkened by black currant liqueur, and that darkening effect worked well in the Sweet Martini dubbed the Marblehead from that same tome. My best guest as to what the drink is named after is the city in Illinois located the largest island on the Mississippi River; the most notable business there is the largest government-owned weapons manufacturing plant, the Rock Island Arsenal, that is famous for their 1911 series of handguns.
After stirring and straining, the Rock Island greeted the nose with dark berry and rye aromas. Next, caramel, malt, grape, and dark berry mingled in the sip, and the swallow was rye forward and accented by bitter orange and black currant notes.

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