March 20, 2011

Cocktail Recipe: the Algonquin

In the category of those whiskey cocktails served up, the Algonquin is one of the greats. It's named after the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan, where in the pre-Prohibition days some of the city's literary elite would meet for lunch and drink this mix. The Algonquin is a refreshing balance of sweet, tart, and spice (from the rye). It's a classy cocktail; try one instead of ordering a Manhattan next time your out.

One of the fun things about the recipe is the room to tailor it, slightly, to suit your palate.

- 3/4 to 1 ounce pineapple juice
- 3/4 to 1 ounce dry vermouth
- 1 1/2 to 2 ounces bourbon

You'll see that many recipes call for either rye whiskey or blended whiskey. In my mind, a bourbon with a high rye content works the best - something like a Buffalo Trace or an Old Grand Dad. My personal recipe:

- 1 ounce pineapple juice
- 3/4 ounce dry vermouth
- 2 ounce Eagle Rare bourbon

Srart with a baseline recipe and then tweak it as you see fit. My personal recipe took a handful of small fixes before I was done. Believe me it was arduous work. Whatever ratio or whiskey you use, be sure to stir the ingredients in a shaker. If you shake it, the pineapple juice will get all foamy and make for a sloppy drink. I garnish mine with a peel of orange, which adds the perfect note of subtle citrusy sweetness. If you really want to exhaust all options before deciding on your opwn recipe, try a dash of orange bitters instead of the peel. After all, making a drink should be almost as fun as drinking it.

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