Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A variation, but of what?

Following up on my first derivations of The Last Word, with all the changes I made, I had to ask myself...upon what cocktail is this actually a variation?  In reality, it doesn't particularly matter, but after altering the ratio of gin relative to the other components, I began to consider that this new drink might even be viewed as a spin on the gin sour.  To be sure, there might well be more of a correlation between the two than a relation to the Last Word.

A Sour is drink category commonly referred to when describing a ratio of 2 parts spirit, 1 part sweet, and 1 part sour.  I would note, however, that while classic cocktails have withstood the test of time for good reason (ie. they're damn tasty), many a ratio has been tweaked all so subtly to conform to any number of palates.  And in such respect, cocktails with a slightly altered sweet to sour ratio may, and often are, categorized as sour variations all the same. 

Among the most popular older variations in this category are the Sidecar (brandy, cointreau, lemon), Margarita (tequila, cointreau, simple syrup, lime), and Gimlet (gin, simple syrup, lime).  A more recent and most notable version, the Fitzgerald, comes from the mind of cocktail icon Dale DeGroff (among many other things, including a mind crucial to the resurgence of the cocktail world, author of The Essential Cocktail and Craft of the Cocktail).  With the addition of a couple dashes of Angostura bitters, it's a subtle tweak on a gin sour, but a solid one that enhances the botanicals of the gin and blends equally as well with the citrus. 

The Fitzgerald
1 1/2 oz gin
3/4 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with lemon wedge or wheel.

With that brief mention, you can start to appreciate why I began to reconsider the relation of 'Run no. 4', as it currently existed.  The sweetness of Strega and apricot balanced very nicely with the lemon and gin in a rough 2:1:1 ratio.  The maraschino also lended a touch of inherent sweetness of it's own, but not akin to that of the other ingredients, at least in my opinion. 

So it is with the final alteration of gin relative to Strega and lemon juice that this might actually be considered a more complex version of a gin sour.  But regardless of its similarities or differences to either a sour or The Last Word, after a final mix up and taste, I still consider this a decent result and will stop messing with it at this point.  And with these latest thoughts of pondering its uncertain relation, it seems fitting to call this one The Veiled Union cocktail, do give it a shot.  Na Zdrowie (for all those non-Poles like myself, 'Naz Strovia').

The Veiled Union
2 oz Dry Fly gin
1 oz Strega
1 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot 
Pacifique absinthe rinse

The Veiled Union