Saturday, November 16, 2019

last man standing

3/4 oz Rittenhouse Bonded Rye Whiskey
3/4 oz Gin (Tanqueray)
3/4 oz Campari
3/4 oz Fernet Branca

Build in a mixing glass, express 2 orange twists over the contents, add ice, and stir. Strain into a cocktail coupe and garnish with an orange twist.

Two Saturdays ago, my copy of Brad Parsons' Last Call arrived on my doorstep, and I opened up the book to a recipe called the Last Man Standing. The name reminded me of an event at Drink before the exam for the BAR course perhaps a decade ago. As all of the bartenders were leaving to get a good night of sleep before the test, a famous curmudgeon bonded with me as he wanted to enjoy life and the open bar (and I was only a guest of the event and not taking the course myself). I was his pal that evening for I was the last man standing besides him.
The drink itself was crafted by Benjamin Hash of the Horse Inn of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and the idea reminded me a little of Eeyore's Requiem or any of the number of Ferrari (Fernet-Campari) containing drinks like the Black Stallion Sets Sail. Hash in contemplating his last drink provided Parsons with a burly shot turned cocktail that he described as, "It's clearly not for everybody. It is a simple cocktail, but it's strong and full of flavor and depth, really rich in character. It doesn't allow you to drink it without demanding your full attention. It forces contemplation, a moment of clarity... We must be grateful for our fortitude, yet careful and aware of our own fragility." In the glass, the Last Man Standing donated an orange, menthol, and caramel bouquet to the nose. The caramel and orange on the sip inherited rye, pine, and menthol flavors on the swallow with a lingering menthol and bitter orange finish.

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