Drink of the Week: The Communist

The Communist.Okay, so we’ll conclude our series of politically themed drinks with, er, the Communist. And yeah, I forgot this was going to be my last post before Thanksgiving. I won’t even try to connect this one to the holiday.

Indeed, I’m really not in a mood to explain just what a communist is and how that’s not the same thing at all as being a socialist like H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw or Bernie Sanders. Suffice it to say, I’m pretty strongly opposed to Leninist/Stalinist/Maoist-type communists (there are a million other flavors, some of which may be more benign) and I pretty much am a socialist. You can look up the rest for yourself. I’m frankly exhausted and a little bit nervous, though hopefully the turkey and starch will be calming me down next week.

Fortunately, we have a drink that could be just the right thing for a case of nerves and for health, whatever it might be called. It’s got a relatively high fresh juice content with a fairly modest amount of sugar and less alcohol than your average classic-era mixed drink. This one comes directly from the pages of “Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails” by Ted Haigh, aka Dr. Cocktail. During this still somewhat tense and unwholesome week, it might be just what the doctor ordered.

The Communist

1 ounce gin
1 ounce fresh orange juice
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce Cherry Herring (or another type of sweet cherry brandy)

Combine the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake until you feel like a weary worker oppressed by the capitalist system. Then strain into a chilled cocktail glass that has been freed from the yoke of your imperialist kitchen cabinet. Toast the fact that we still live in a country where, for now at least, you can call a drink anything you like.


Cherry Herring was the only cherry brandy I had on hand, which I think most experts would say is not a bad thing. It seems to be the gold standard among rich, sweet cherry liqueurs. I did mess around with using more or less of it, as this is quite a tart little number. But I found that increasing the amount of sweetener, or decreasing the amount of lemon juice, didn’t actually help. Dr. Cocktail had the right balance — you just have to embrace the tart and enjoy the refreshment.

I did try both Tanqueray and Gordon’s Gin. The taste was not too terribly different, but the Tanqeuray version had more alcohol in it. So I guess that’s something to be thankful for.