Thursday, March 27, 2008
A Saratoga for Spring
The more I learn about cocktails, the more I realize that—as much as I love experimentation and fresh inventions—I am ultimately a fan of the classics. The two elements that make me love a cocktail (beyond taste, of course) are history and elegant simplicity.
I already know a number of the major libations that fit this description, but every now and then I stumble upon a monumental tipple of yesteryear. David Wondrich's tome "Imbibe!" has proved invaluable in this respect. The other day I found myself with both good rye and good cognac on hand (this isn't always the case). Thus, I was equipped to make a Saratoga Cocktail—a drink new to my brain and my gullet.
The recipe is simple as can be: 1 oz. of brandy, 1 oz. of whiskey (Wondrich recommends rye), 1 oz sweet vermouth, and 2 dashes of Angostura. Wondrich aptly describes the cocktail as splitting the difference between a Manhattan and a Metropolitan, except that it's much better than a Metropolitan.
I case you haven't guessed, the drink was invented in Saratoga Springs, back when that was a hot spot for bon vivants.