At first glance it seems like a brutish cocktail, perfectly appropriate for the “blunt instrument” of a character Ian Fleming had originally intended the character of James Bond to be. But just as Bond became a sophisticate as time went on, the Vesper reveals itself as a far more nuanced and balanced drink than it appears. The vodka mellows and stretches the potentially overwhelming portion of strong gin and the sweetness and quinine bite of the Lillet brings it all together. Because the Gordon’s and Lillet called for in the original recipe have both been reformulated since the Vesper’s appearance in 1953, a bit of alteration is in order. For the gin, a good London dry north of 80° works best. Lillet Blanc, a milder, sweeter version of the original Kina Lillet will still make a fine drink— but many argue that Cocchi Americano is a bit closer to the original mark, so that’s what we’re going with. Whatever you use, don’t forget the lemon twist— it makes a difference!
3 oz. gin
1 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. Cocchi Americano Bianco (or Lillet Blanc)
Twist of lemon
Although James Bond wants it shaken, try stirring this one with ice and straining into a glass. As for glassware, Bond intended to have a dry martini in a “deep champagne goblet” before changing his mind and coming up with this drink– we’ll assume that’s what the bartender ended up using for this one. Once poured, twist a generous swath of lemon peel over the drink, making sure to express the aromatic oils into the drink.
The Voyager is a sophisticated Tiki-style drink created by Robert Hess. It has all the classic ingredients the Tiki devotees demand to conjure up the feeling of the Trade Winds tickling their foreheads and white sands beneath their feet– tart lime, gingery falernum, the warm spice and complexity of Angostura, the rumminess of rum– while still offering something for those who aren’t into the tooth-achingly sweet: it’s a really well-balanced drink. We’ve seen it made with both falernum syrup and the low-proof West Indian liqueur, Velvet Falernum, both to great effect.
2 oz rum
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz falernum
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Shake well with ice and strain into an ice-filled glass.
Robert Hess’ version calls for garnishing with a lime wedge, but we were feeling fancy during our photoshoot and a good friend of The Shaker made the pineapple garnish by slicing a spear a few inches in and putting the leaves in the top.
One of our favorite cocktails in one of our favorite glasses. (But Back Down South has much better photography and citrus flaming skills!)
The Drink: There is no need to adjust this “cousin” of a Negroni. This delicious classic first appeared in Harry McElhone’s 1927 bar guide, Barflies and Cocktails, and it’s one of Caroline’s favorite cocktails of all time.
1.5 oz rye whiskey – we used Old Overholt
1 oz Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth – we used Dolin Rouge
Put all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir well.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Zest with orange peel, or flame orange peel, to release the oils.
The Glass: From The Boston Shaker.
via Drink This Takeover | Boulvardier.
Something else green and boozy.
Today’s drinks feature the lushly herbal Chartreuse in all its emerald glory
We agree with Dietsch. There’s a lot more to drink on St. Pat’s day than green beer. We enjoy the herbal deliciousness that is Chartreuse, but if you’re looking to go a bit more traditional, check out this great sister article about drinks with Irish Whiskey.
via Beyond Green Beer: 5 Great Chartreuse Cocktails for St. Patrick's Day | Serious Eats: Drinks.
One of our favorite beverages around the Serious Eats office is bitters and soda. We’ve got a good dozen types of bitters in the Serious Eats liquor shelves—cranberry! Peychaud’s! black walnut!—and just a few dashes can turn plain ol’ soda water into something much more exciting.
Love this idea and look forward to trying through the combinations (and coming up with more!)
via Add Bitters To Your Soda! 12 Combos We Love | Serious Eats: Drinks.
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1/4 Cup grenadine
- 1/4 Cup OJ
- 4 Teaspoons Agar Agar
- 1/3 Cup Campari
- 1/3 Cup Gin
- 1/3 Cup Sweet Vermouth
Pour water, grenadine & o.j. into a small saucepan and then stir in the agar.
Heat mixture over medium high heat just until it comes to a boil, then remove from heat.
Add the Campari, gin and sweet vermouth to the agar mix and stir to combine.
Pour into molds or 8″x8″ square pan.
Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours.
Remove from molds or cut into shapes.Top with orange zest.
To make these stiffer, increase to 5 teaspoons agar.To make them more able to stand at room temperature, use 2 packets unflavored gelatin instead of the agar agar.
Haven’t had a chance to try ‘em yet, but couldn’t resist posting it. (Guessing the grenadine and OJ is in there to sweeten them up a bit, but reserve judgement until I get to make ‘em).
The Jelly Shot Test Kitchen version looks to be much more traditional in proportion. Guess we’ll have to make both and compare. It’s a hard life, but someone has to do it.
Let us know in the comments if you make ‘em and how they came out!
Found via Negroni Jello Shots….#yourewelcome. Thanks Matt!
Like Aperol? Us too! (And apparently a lot of other folks as well.)
But for the time being, we live in the world of Aperol, a slightly bitter, go-down-easy Italian aperitif that has found its way into bartenders’ flutes and highball glasses from Los Angeles to London.
Check out the whole writeup, and links to Aperol food and cocktail recipes at Sipping on a Sunset, Italy in Mind – NYTimes.com.
Phil Collins -The Hawthorne, Boston MA
- 1 1/2 oz. Square One Cucumber Vodka
- 3/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
- 3/4 oz. Simple Syrup
- 1/2 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
- Dash Sweetgrass Cranberry Bitters
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously until well chilled. Strain over fresh ice into a collins glass. No Garnish.
Great looking drink by our friend Tom over at Island Creek Oyster Bar using Bittermens Tiki bitters (and served in a coupe). Jackson Cannon mentions a super entertaining tip while talking about the cocktail.
…one great tip: take a large pitcher and add the rum, aperol, and lemon juice, carefully measured. Then, when it comes time to mix them to order, you can just stir that up, throw it on some ice, add the bitters, and shake.
That’s one of our favorite entertaining life-savers as well!
Check out the recipe at Bitter Monk : Cocktail of the Week – Esquire.
A strawberry huller may be just the cure for the paring knife blues when it comes to prepping strawberries.
We agree! So happy to hear our friends over at Cook’s like the StemGem too. Pick one up and make some Tequila Por Mi Amante (Tequila infused with fresh strawberries)
Check out the StemGem Strawberry Hull Remover by Chef’n
It’s easy, safe, fast, compact, and cheap enough to be worth adding to the gadget drawer. (It cores tomatoes as well.)
via Strawberry Huller – Cook’s Illustrated.