Wednesday, June 19, 2019


1/2 jigger Brandy (1 1/2 oz Courvoisier VS Cognac)
1/2 jigger French Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
2 dash Gum Syrup (2 tsp Simple)
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a cherry.

While looking through my old LiveJournal for the Fluffy Ruffles, I spotted the Metropole that I made in April 2008 shortly after having read about the drink in David Wondrich's Imbibe! book as well as on Chuck Taggart's blog. There, I made the somewhat newer 2:1 recipe that Wondrich preferred, but here, I found the older recipe in George Kappeler's 1895 Modern American Drinks as the equal parts drink. Wondrich wrote about this version in his Esquire Magazine column where he described the Metropole as, "If drinks were old movie stars, this one would be James Mason. Dark, handsome, suave, a little dry, but deep down a swine. Which is entirely appropriate, considering where it originated." The drink was created at the Metropole Hotel sometime between its opening in 1876 and the book's publication in 1895. Located near what became Times Square, the hotel's street-level Café Metropole served all night and gained a seedy reputation (hence, Wondrich's "swine" comment) until its demise in 1912 (only a week after one of the regulars got gunned down in front of the café). Kappeler also included the Metropolitan Cocktail which is pretty much the same there save for the bitters being two dashes of Angostura instead of the Peychaud's and orange bitters duo (and not the more modern Metropolitan that is the Cosmo riff with Kurant instead of Citron vodka, of course). The original Metropolitan published in O.H. Byron's 1884 Modern Bartender’s Guide preceded the Metropole and called for sweet vermouth instead of dry vermouth plus syrup, so perhaps the café purloined that and switched the vermouth type, bitters, and name slightly.
I opted for a little more simple syrup than specified which strayed from Wondrich's description of it being "a little dry," for I envisioned this to be a Cognac Sazerac minus the absinthe. In the glass, the Metropole presented a Cognac nose that preceded a semi-sweet and slightly fruity sip. Next, the swallow was a pleasing brandy and cherry anise combination.

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