Monday, August 18, 2014

Captain Gin & Cousin It

This really is a silly bartender's name for this drink, but I love it all the same.  Really, it's a simple take on the very old-school Gin & It, supposedly a predecessor to the Martini - and given the formula, just 2 parts gin to 1 part sweet vermouth, a pretty safe assumption.  Yet while trying to find a good reference recipe, I was surprised by the number that included a dash or two of bitters, and even more surprised by the number that recommended no ice at all.

I tried this stirred at first, but I have to say, this Scaffa-style approach is on to something.  Built without ice, this is a full-flavored drink, with alternating layers of sweetness, nuttiness, and herbs - kind of like neat Chartreuse, which I can't argue with at all.  With ice, it's stuck halfway between Negroni and Martinez territory.  Not a bad thing, but less is more in this case.

1 1/4 oz navy-strength gin (Hayman's for me)
3/4 oz Bonal (which I've become addicted to)
1 dash Jerry Thomas' Own Decanter bitters (I found a new source!)

Place a maraschino cherry in a chilled old-fashioned glass (unlike most of my garnishes, this one's actually required) then pour in the remaining ingredients (I kept the Bonal chilled) and stir to combine.

As an optional exercise, repeat the above, but stir the gin, Bonal, and bitters, then strain.  Sip and contemplate what a difference dilution makes.

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