This year for Christmas my wife treated me to a new cocktail book to expand my horizons and allow me to keep expanding my experiment in mixology that is DaveDrinks. This book is a great one full of classic cocktails, and is appropriately named “Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails” by Ted Haigh. It’s a fascinating book, with many interesting tidbits, although unsurprisingly, many of the drinks contain a difficult to acquire ingredient not found in the modern bar. There are exceptions of course, and tonight I tried the Park Avenue Cocktail.
According the Haigh, “This drink is synonymous with wealth, power, and luxury in New York City”. That’s high praise for a cocktail, so let’s see how I feel after a sample…
- 2 ounces gin
- 0.75 ounces pineapple juice
- 0.75 ounces sweet vermouth
- 2 teaspoons orange curacao
Shake it all over ice and serve it up in a martini glass, simple enough.
- It starts dry, has a just perceptively sweet middle and ends dry again. You should enjoy your gin before sampling this wealthy beverage.
- I’m not sure how the drink earned it’s powerful moniker, as to me it tastes of a softened dry martini.
- Don’t be confused with its three luxurious sweet sounding ingredients, there is only a hint of the sweet pineapple flavor.
- Dave’s Rating: 6/10
- Strength: 5/10
- Sweetness: 4/10
- I tried to be witty and note its wealthy, powerful and luxurious qualities, but honestly, I didn’t think these were the best descriptors as I tasted. On the whole, and ok classic cocktail, very middle of the road.
Sorry for the lack of a picture – just wasn’t feeling photographic tonight!
I’ve been drinking a lot of bourbon lately – my drink of the month appears to be a Manhattan, as every drink I order in a bar has a 50% chance of being a Makers Manhattan. It’s a lovely drink, but I needed some variety, so a flipped through my “World Bartender Guide” on the lookout for something that sounded very different. With that I stumbled on the Rum Shake.
At first read you might think that this was a desert cocktail with some dairy product thrown in for fun, but alas, the ingredients give way to a Caribbean themed drink with a little rum and pineapple juice. Then the curveball is Pernod. Let’s give her a whirl.
- 1.5 ounces dark rum
- 0.75 ounces Pernod
- 2 ounces pineapple juice
Shake everything over ice, and strain into an ice filled rocks glass.
- There’s definitely some interesting flavors in here. The pineapple and the Pernod set each other off quite well.
- In the tradition of Caribbean rum cocktails, you can’t really taste any liquor in here.
- It drinks heavy, its frothy and rich like a shake – now I understand the name.
- Dave’s Rating: 7/10
- Strength: 4/10
- Sweetness: 7/10
- According to plan, this is a different cocktail to try when you are craving a sweet alternative.
There’s a new ingredient in the house – Calvados. I never knew that it was extra special apple brandy – but now I know. Apparently the stuff has been around since the time of Charlemagne and was originally a type of cider. Much like Champagne, Calvados has been given its own “appellation”, and it became official in 1942. Wow – enough history, how does the stuff taste? This is the second cocktail I have sampled containing Calvados, and I have to say that the most pleasing part of the drink is the strong fresh apple smell that comes along with it. I fear in this cocktail, its partners in crime may conspire to mask its delicious flavor.
- 1.5 ounces Calvados
- 0.75 ounces gin
- 0.75 ounces scotch
Shake over ice and serve in a martini glass over ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.
- This drink has four distinct parts as you sip – it starts with a hint of apple, quickly taken over by the flavor of the scotch, not to outdone the dryness of the gin comes through and the finish comes back it the scotch. Interesting progression.
- The fresh apple scent is nowhere to be found… you would be hard pressed to know it was here unless told.
- You have to like your liquors for this, it is not a sweet or smooth drink.
- Dave’s Rating: 3/10
- Strength: 8/10
- Sweetness: 3/10
- The one thing I’ll give this drinks is good looks!