Tuesday, May 21, 2024

jolly jane

1 1/2 oz Scotch (Cutty Sark Prohibition)
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Lustau East India Solera Sherry
1/2 oz Amaro Ciociaro

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

Several weeks ago, I was contacted by the Cutty Sark brand ambassador about organizing an event with the Boston chapter of the bartenders' guild (USBG). As we brainstormed about adventures in the city, I mentioned that there was a guided crime tour, and the ambassador perked up and replied that it would coincide with how the brand was created to be smuggled into the United States during Prohibition. When I later looked up this up, I confirmed that the brand was born in 1923 by British wine and spirit merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd for American drinkers in the midst of the Noble Experiment that the company named after a style of ship involved in various smuggling operations between 1920 and 1933. Two weeks ago, we gathered to meet up with the tour guide, and the tour began with tales of the Winter Hill Gang. Next, the Brinks bank heist, piracy, art thievery at the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, and Italian mobsters were all covered, but it was the serial killers that got many of us intrigued. While the tales of the Boston Strangler and the path that serial killers progress through caught our attention, I was taken by the tales of Jolly Jane which had to be the most ironic name of the tour. Jolly Jane was Jane Toppan, an 1890s serial killer who used her role as a nurse and her association with Massachusetts General Hospital to target patients and their family. Though she confessed to 31 murders, she was only tried and convicted of 12 and sentenced to life in the Taunton Insane Asylum.
That evening, I decided to mark the occasion by naming a drink after the criminal who I could not forget. I was inspired by writing up The Manhatta for the blog earlier that day with the Punt e Mes and Lustau East India Solera Sherry combination. I opted for Amaro Ciociaro which added an elegance to this Scotch drink that Aperol and Campari did not provide in previous iterations. In the glass, the Jolly Jane began with an orange and plum aroma. Next, grape, caramel, and malt notes on the sip led to Scotch, raisin, caramel, and orange flavors on the swallow.

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