The cocktail is an art form that peaked in the middle of the 20th century and has been in rapid decline since. As a young lad, I was schooled in the fine art of cocktailing by my father and grandfathers, I learned many valuable lessons that I plan to pass on. I also want to resurrect some of the old classics that vastly surpass the sugary & fruity concoctions made today with their simplicity, elegance and bold flavors. Most of the time I will focus on one drink, and to provide, at least in my opinion, the definitive recipe, but hope to expand to other related topics as I see fit. Please mix yourself a cocktail, read, drink, and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Satan's Whiskers

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that gin is an area of cocktail knowledge where I am severely lacking for recipes that I really enjoy. I partially blame my devotion to bourbon for this deficiency; I also blame the fact that I have not taken the time to get past the very basics. To remedy this misfortune, I have committed to trying at least one new gin based cocktail per week for the next eight weeks. I was hoping to find three or four that are suitable for publication; on my first dive into the gin filled pool, I came up with a winner. With a name like Satan’s Whiskers how could I have gone wrong!

The earliest reference I could find to this cocktail is the original Savoy Cocktail Book from 1930. Craddock’s recipe is slightly different from mine; I prefer a little less orange juice and a little more Gran Marnier. I was worried that the orange flavor would overpower the rest of the drink, but the gin and sweet vermouth have a nice presence and provide good balance.

This is a fairly straightforward cocktail to make. Since juicing the orange is the only step that requires any effort that is where I like to start. I tried this using both Plymouth and Hendrick’s gin and preferred the flavor of the Hendrick’s, but with all of the other flavors going on, any decent gin should yield favorable results.

One note of caution, this is one of those drinks that can really sneak up on you!

Satan’s Whiskers
¾ oz gin
¾ oz dry vermouth
¾ oz sweet vermouth
½ oz gran marnier
½ oz orange juice
2 heavy dashes orange bitters
Put all ingredients into an ice filled shaker.  Shake vigorously.  Pour into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with cherries and serve.

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