Tuesday, June 28

Baron Cocktail

Two in a row! Alright.

Baron Cocktail:
  • 1 1/2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. French (dry) vermouth
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian (sweet) vermouth
  • 1 1/2 tsp. orange curacao
Stir with cracked ice and strain into 3 oz. cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Here we have a rather delightful twist on the Martini. Actually, it's more than delightful. I've had probably a hundred Martini's over the last few years, with probably twenty different variants, and it's not much of a stretch to say that this might be my favorite. The good thing about a Martini (I mean a real one, not one with chocolate liqueur or passion fruit syrup or UV Vodka) is that it's familiar. Comforting, even. I've had a lot of bad cocktails in a lot of bars, but as long as you watch the bartender and let them know that a Martini is a cocktail with an appreciable amount of vermouth in it, you're going to get more or less what you had in mind.

And that's what's so delightful about a slight twist on an old favorite. Because sometimes the simple gin/vermouth/olive combination gets a bit....tired. Always good, always strong, always welcome, but sometimes I'm not looking for that. This twist reminds me (for good reason) very much of my previous favorite twist, which was a Martini made with half gin, half vermouth, a few dashes of orange bitters and a twist. In a drink as simple and subtle as the Martini, you really discover just how much flavor the lemon twist imparts on the drink. This, in turn, opens your eyes to how much of an effect any ingredient can have, no matter how small. This drink is huge, because a few dashes of orange curacao and a dash of sweet vermouth, and you get a drink that's exceedingly familiar, yet where the Martini has the dry botanicals of the gin and a hint of brine off of the olives, this one sings with fruity flavors from the orange and lemon peel, and the splash of sweet vermouth gives you something a bit more complex. Rather than dry and brisk, you get a drink that is flavorful and refreshing, all while still being, at it's heart, a Martini.

I can't recommend this one highly enough, though I suppose one caveat is that I do, in fact, love a good Martini. If you're not really into them, then I guess it might not be for you, but this is far and away the best Martini I've ever had.

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