The Perfect Cocktail - 1 oz. @HendricksGin, 1 oz. sweet vermouth, 1 oz. dry vermouth


1 oz. Gin* (Hendricks's)
1 oz. French Vermouth (Dolin)
1 oz. Italian Vermouth (Punt E Mes)

Stir with ice. Strain.

*The recipe called for dry gin, but Hendrick's was calling me.

I was making macaroons and flipping through the Savoy Cocktail Book looking for something in a French theme and noticed that French and Italian was the designation for dry and sweet vermouth respectively. This led to further investigation where I learned that vermouths were often referred to in this way as most French vermouths were white and Italian, red. If you did not already know this and if you have been reading this blog and others, you may have noticed that this is not a steadfast rule as there are red French vermouths (Dolin) and white Italian vermouths (Martini and Rossi). However, this guideline is helpful in recreating some of the older vintage cocktails.
While delicious, rich, complex, drinkable, simple, and sublime, I instantly wanted to tinker with this drink (and already had by not sticking with a dry gin) so I'm not sure that I would consider it perfect, but I am conflicted about disagreeing with Mr. Craddock, though sometimes a name is just a name. I think Punt E Mes and Hendrick's go particularly well together and mix with the fruity Dolin for a full-bodied sip. I was craving some bitterness as the drink is on the sweet side. In the next iteration I added Torani Amer and homemade orange bitters.


Perfect Cocktail #2
1 oz. Gin* (Hendricks's)
.75 oz. French Vermouth (Dolin)
.75 oz. Italian Vermouth (Punt E Mes)
.5 oz. Amer Picon (Torani Amer)
1 dash homemade orange bitters

This was a good drink, though quite a different character of drink, with the bitter orange of the Amer and the gentian of the bitters. It also was not quite the flavor I was seeking. A very similar cocktail also worth trying is the Income Tax Cocktail, essentially the Perfect cocktail with orange juice and Angostura bitters.
I eventually settled on


Eye of the Beholder:
1 oz. Gin* (Hendricks's)
.75 oz. French Vermouth (Dolin)
.75 oz. Italian Vermouth (Punt E Mes)
.5 oz. Cynar

This was the drink I was looking for. Sweet, bitter, complex, almost a syrupy velvety richness without being cloying. Perfect? I will leave perfection as an endless pursuit.