The Algonquin Cocktail

The Algonquin Cocktail:

1.5 oz rye (Michter's)
.75 oz dry vermouth (Vya)
.75 oz pineapple juice
opt. dash pineapple gum syrup (Small Hand Foods)

Shake over ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

This is an excellent classic cocktail from Ted Haigh named for the New York hotel the Algonquin Round Table. Rye and pineapple go particularly well together, the sweet pineapple mediating the spiciness of the rye, and the Vya lends additional botanical notes. The pineapple we were using was unfortunately a little on the bland side, and lacking some necessary sweetness. Luckily, we had Small Hand Foods amazing pineapple gum syrup to save the day and a dash gave the cocktail the sweetness and pleasant mouthfeel (the pineapple syrup is a historically accurate gomme syrup) for a true prohibition style cocktail. 

Ward 8

Ward 8:

1.5 oz Rye Whiskey (Michter's)
.75 oz lemon juice
.75 oz orange juice
Dash pomegranate grenadine (Stirrings)

We have found ourselves making this cocktail more than any other at home. This is partially due to its simplicity to make, and partly to the excellent variety of citrus available in winter, as well as the astounding number of high quality ryes currenltly available, when only a few years ago, Old Overholt was the only option (and still and excellent one, especially price-wise). Two important ingredients that make the difference between a forgettable drink and a memorable favorite are real grenadine and fresh squeezed orange juice. 

Slabtown Soda- @drinkfentimans @housespirits

Slabtown Soda:

2 oz. Whiskey (House Spirits Slabtown Whiskey)
Top with Fentiman's Curious Cola

Serve in old fashioned glass on ice.

While a whiskey and cola may not initially sound like the most exciting of cocktails, the GIGO (i.e. Jack and Coke) adage applies here, and it's time the duo was revisited. Fentiman's botanically brewed Curiosity Cola has a rich herbal complexity, with predominant flavors of kola and ceylon, and lingering notes of ginger, anise, and vanilla. Ceylon and ginger make a great pairing as the the initial hit is a cinnamon note, but when the spiciness that follows is from the ginger and not from the cinnamon, it is pleasantly surprising as our association with cinnamon often coincides with the "red hot" finish. The rye content in the Slab Town is high enough to contribute it's own spiciness but not overly so. The curious cola helps to pull out the vanilla and caramel notes of the wood in the whiskey and results in a smooth simple sipper.


Phipp's Fizz- 2 oz. Old Overholt Rye, .5 oz lemon juice, dash Angostura, top with ginger beer @cocktailvirgin

Phipp's Fizz:

2 oz Old Overholt Rye
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Shakes with ice. Top with homemade ginger beer and garnish with a lemon wedge.

While I enjoy exotic spirits, and complex recipes as much as the next cocktail geek, I will always have an appreciation for simple classics and the lifetime it takes to perfect such libations. It is not a thankless task, as each drink is one step closer to the attainment of perfection. Gary Regan noted the importance of the mastery of classic approachable drinks before delving into wild new flavor combinations and molecular mixology in a great article in the SF Gate. This is not to say that expermentaion and creativity should not be welcomed and encouraged, but merely that some things should never be forgotten.

The cocktail starts with a cinnamon and rye nose. Light sip, with smooth mouthfeel, and spicy tart finish. The ginger beer is well balanced as the ginger flavor can often overpower the drink (especially if you make extra spicy ginger beer) so don't be stingy on the two ounces of Rye.