Thursday, September 13, 2012

MxMo LXV: Equal Parts

Thank god that Frederic of Cocktail Virgin Slut has taken the baton for running Mixology Monday, the biggest online cocktail party there's ever been.  It was getting stagnant there for a while, simply because Paul Clarke is a busy man, no offense to Fred.

The theme for this MxMo is Equal Parts: any cocktail whose ingredients are called for with equal parts, not including garnish, and maybe a dash of bitters, if you're being liberal.  I'm going to be extra liberal and call for 2 dashes of bitters and yet still qualify for the theme.

My entry is as simple as it is sacrilegious: the Saratoga cocktail.  What's the sacriledge?  That this Manhattan variation is better than the Manhattan.  That's it.

I was turned on to the Saratoga originally by an interview with Camper English conducted by the 12 Bottle Bar. (Question # 6)

The Saratoga is simply a rye Manhattan, half of whose spirit is replaced with brandy.  It is my opinion that this combination elevates the Saratoga into a realm of interest and complexity which surpasses both rye and bourbon Manhattans.

As per my suggestion, Rowen of the Fogged In Lounge mixed up a Saratoga to stack up with the slew of other Manhattans that he was comparing recently, and he half agrees with me, at the very least.

Though recipes vary little, my Saratoga recipe comes from 12 Bottle Bar, which comes from David Wondrich.  You owe it to yourself to make this drink, if you haven't, simply so you can strike down my preposterous claim above.


.75 oz rye whiskey
.75 oz brandy
.75 oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.  Garnish with half a lemon wheel.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Our first obsessive today is Rowen of the Fogged In Lounge.  Far from the first time writing about the Manhattan cocktail on his site, this time Rowen's decided to ask his followers how they like to make their Manhattans.  In an exploration of the very subtle ways Manhattans can vary and also his peers' specific tastes, he's been mixing up each iteration and posting about them.

Just recently he reviewed the preferred Manhattan of yours truly.  Read it here.  His short description of its flavor proves to me that it turned out exactly as it should have.

Our second obsessive today is Dagreb.  Dagreb has an unhealthy(or perhaps, healthy) obsession with Angostura bitters.  I first got a taste of this (literally) when he issued his monster of a drink to my own hosted Mixology Monday, where Dagreb taught me that the number of dashes of bitters after which I begin to question myself is twelve.

Dagreb's latest move is one that I would almost certainly call satire, were I not familiar with Dagreb and his tastes.  Today Dagreb has taught me another thing: that the difference between potable and non-potable bitters means nothing.  Rifling through the internet's tributes to Angostura bitters, Dagreb finally drops the bomb by presenting an Old Fashioned that's anything but old fashioned... with the Angostura Bitters Old Fashioned.  After repeatedly calling him crazy and cursing his name,  you may ask yourself, "What kind of bitters do you add to an Old Fashioned made of bitters?"  You'll have to click and find out.