Gary and Mardee Regan have done it again; I learn so many wonderful things from these guys. They've dug up a book called The Speakeasies of 1932, in the course of Gary's researches for The Joy of Mixology. Among many other fascinating details about what it was like to drink in a speakeasy during Prohibition, they dug up this little gem of a drink.
I have to say I was skeptical about a cocktail consisting almost entirely of vermouth, and we were prepared to make one to try it (so that we could toss it if we didn't like it and not fret about wasting two drinks worth of liquor). Turns out we made another one immediately. It's terrific, light and one of those great examples of cocktail alchemy. I highly recommend this to anyone who wishes to exercise a sophisticated palate but doesn't want to get hammered too fast.
If you use Carpano Antica Formula for the sweet vermouth, this cocktail is truly spectacular.
Vermouth CocktailSpicy, complex and easy on the noggin. We likes it!
(adapted from a Prohibition-era speakeasy cocktail)
1 ounce sweet vermouth.
1 ounce dry vermouth.
2 dashes of Angostura bitters.
2 dashes orange bitters.
2 dashes grenadine.
1 lemon twist, for garnish.
Shake all the ingredients over ice, and strain into a chilled martini glass. Add the garnish.
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Chuck Taggart email chef (at) gumbopages (dot) com