Wednesday, October 2, 2019

improved 1794

1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse Bonded)
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Martini Grand Lusso)
3/4 oz Campari
1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)
2 dash Absinthe (1 bsp Kübler)
2 dash Mole Bitters (Bittermens)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.

Two Wednesdays ago, I was thinking about how Maraschino can soften Campari into an almost Aperol-like feel as I first learned in the Carnivale, and I wondered what it would do to "improve" a Negroni. Instead of just Maraschino, I could utilize Jerry Thomas' 1876 Improved technique of adding Maraschino and absinthe. However, I felt that I had tinkered enough with the Negroni and considered Dominic Venegas' rye-based 1794 that he crafted in 2004 as a three part drink, and it later gained chocolate bitters circa 2007 (our blog post was the first evidence on the web that this was a thing; when the drink was created, there were no chocolate bitters on the market). The 1794 had been softened and expanded into the 1795 at Craigie on Main, but I was curious if it could be Improved.
The Improved 1794 met the nose with orange, rye, nutty, and anise aromas. Next, grape and cherry notes mingled on the sip, and the swallow proffered rye and bitter cherry-orange flavors with a chocolate and anise finish. Overall, the result was softer -- it was less bitter and more bright and herbal akin to the effect of a pinch of salt. And perhaps the profile was somewhere between a 1794 and a Red Hook.

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