Drink of the Week: The Modern Cocktail (No. 2)

The Modern Cocktail (No.2).Today, we have part three of our latest series of related cocktails with The Modern Cocktail (No. 2.) If you go back and look at the prior two (The Modern Cocktail and The Modern Cocktail (No. 1)), you’ll see that what they all have in common, aside from the name, is Scotch and number of similar ingredients measured out in dashes. The latter two appear in Harry Craddock’s “The Savoy Cocktail Book,” but the first is a more complete obscurity recently resurrected by cocktail historian David Wondrich. Upon reflection, I think it’s pretty clearly the best of the three.

Nevertheless, today’s selection is not a bad runner-up because, like Wondrich’s discovery, it mellows out the Scotch with a healthy amount of sloe gin. This drink, however, tamps down the whiskey somewhat and gooses up the gin-based cherry liqueur. You could say it’s on the sweet side.

The Modern Cocktail (No. 2)

1 ounce blended Scotch whisky
2 ounces sloe gin
1 dash orange bitters
1 dash absinthe
1 dash grenadine

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass. Stir or shake — Harry Craddock and I  say you should shake this, but most cocktail snobs will prefer to stir — and strain into a well chilled cocktail glass. Congratulate yourself if you’ve ever actually eaten a sloe berry. (I haven’t.)

Read the rest of this entry »

  

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for content updates. Also, sign up for our email list for weekly updates and check us out on Google+ as well.

Drink of the Week: The Modern Cocktail (No. 1)

The Modern Cocktail (No. 1).This might be a little confusing, but just bear with me. You see, although it wasn’t my intention, it turns out that I’ve began another of my occasional trilogies of cocktails, and these are all called “The Modern Cocktail,” though it’s hard to say what was particularly modern about them back in the earlier part of the 20th century. However, they’re unusual in that they include Scotch, rarely a go-to base spirit, though one I’m quite fond of in mixed drinks, at times.

My original plan was to simply follow-up last week’s drink, the Modern Cocktail, which was based on a surprisingly harmonious combination of sloe gin and Scotch, with the Modern Cocktail (No. 2) from 1930’s “The Savoy Cocktail Book,” which actually does not include the original 1905 Modern Cocktail recipe I went through last week. Got that? In any case, I was sidetracked by some difficulties with locating decent brands of sloe gin at my local stores.

More about that next week, but in the meantime, we’re going to go with the first drink bearing the name “Modern Cocktail” included in Harry Craddock’s epochal cocktail book. This one is sloe gin-free and a drastically different taste experience. However, the recipe is similar enough to the first Modern Cocktail that it’s tempting to wonder if the whole thing isn’t some kind of a typographical mutation. It’s close to being the same drink, minus the sloe gin or, really, any kind of sweetening.

Yes, this is a drink for a select few who really want their booze to be boozy and relatively unadorned and unsoftened. See what you think.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Drink of the Week: The Modern Cocktail

The Modern Cocktail.Since famed cocktail super-historian David Wondrich tells us that it dates back to 1905, clearly the Modern Cocktail hasn’t been particularly modern for a very long time. Indeed, at least up to now, it’s been an absolute obscurity, one that I personally hadn’t encountered until last week. And Wondrich is definitely right that it hasn’t been making its way into your better bars the way so many other of the better rediscovered cocktails have in recent years. He seems to chalk it up to the odd hodgepodge of ingredients, and that may well be correct.

In any case, I agree with him that the Modern Cocktail might not be any more newfangled than an Old Fashioned, but it is amazingly rich and delicious. Let’s keep it simple this week and just get right into it.

The Modern Cocktail

1 or 1 1/2 ounce Scotch whiskey
1 or 1 1/2 ounce sloe gin (probably Plymouth Sloe Gin)
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
1 dash absinthe (I use an eye dropper; a shaker bottle might be ideal)
1 dash orange bitters
1 cocktail cherry (fun garnish)

Combine the liquid ingredients and easily dissolved sugar in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Shake quite vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Contemplate the likelihood that even having easy access to ice must have seemed incredibly modern at some point.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Drink of the Week: The Smokey Martini

The Smokey Martini.It’s the day after Thanksgiving or Black Friday, if you must. That means you’ve likely overindulged in fowl, carbohydrates and possibly heated political arguments with family members. You also might have had a drink or two, but if you’re reading this, you’re definitely on your way to contemplating another one. It’s possible you’d rather have something that wasn’t too caloric, a bit dry and potent but also kind of interesting.

Well, maybe it’s a good day to consider one of the simplest of drinks I’ve ever presented here. It’s definitely more of a classic martini than, say, a Chocolate Martini or, lord help us, an Appletini. Basically, we’re talking about two great hard liquors that go surprisingly great together. This one’s only for grown-up boozers.

The Smokey Martini

2 1/2 ounces dry gin (vodka might also work)
1/2 ounce Scotch
1/2 ounce dry vermouth (very optional!)
Lemon twist, olive, or cocktail onion (desirable garnish)

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass or cocktail shaker with plenty of ice and stir — or shake if you must go full Ian Fleming, but I can’t say I suggest it. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and contemplate how a cocktail can be both simple and challenging at exactly the same time.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Related Posts