Thursday, December 29, 2016

japanese (variation)

3/4 Brandy (1 1/2 oz Camus VS)
2 dash Orgeat (1/2 oz)
2 dash Dry Vermouth (3/4 oz Noilly Prat)
1 dash Picon Bitters (1/4 oz Torani Amer)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktails glass; I added a lemon twist.

Two Thursdays ago, I was flipping through Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 when I spotted their variation on the Japanese Cocktail. I had previously skipped over this recipe so as not to add alternative recipes to the basic brandy, orgeat, and bitters recipe first written by Jerry Thomas in 1862, but temptation overcame me. Here, the Old Fashioned style was undone by the addition of dry vermouth to something approaching a Brandy Manhattan, and the bitters instead of being Boker's (or Angostura) were Picon.
This Japanese variation greeted the nose with a lemon, floral, and brandy bouquet. Next, the sip was creamy from the orgeat, and the swallow gave forth Cognac, earthy-nutty, and bitter orange flavors. Here, the drink was more dried out from the vermouth than the nonpotable bitters in the classic, but it had a familiar feel to it.


Anonymous said...

Why the name "Japanese Cocktail" for this drink?

frederic said...

Wondrich explained that Jerry Thomas entertained a party of Japanese diplomats circa 1860 at one of his NYC bars. Otherwise, the most Japanese cocktail of the 19th centruy is the Bamboo.