Pegu Club- 2 oz gin, .75 oz orange liqueur, .5 oz lime juice, 2 dash Angostura bitters

Pegu Club:

2 oz. gin (Hendrick's)
.75 oz. Orange Liqueur (Patron Citronge)
.5 oz lime juice
2 dash Angostura bitters
Lime slice garnish (optional)

Shake over ice. Double-strain into chilled cocktail glass.

This is an excellent classic cocktail for those who enjoy sours, but are not yet sold on gin. Hendrick's in particular is a great entry gin for the juniper timid. Its rose and cucumber infusion render it more accessible for gin newcomers, coupled with the sweetness of the Citronage and the tart lime juice, and followed by a warm-spice finish makes for an very well balanced drink. This is a fun cocktail to experiment with different gins to find your favorite version. Robert Hess has a great video and short history on the Pegu Club on the Small Screen Network here.

Bich's Special/The Great Secret- 2 oz gin, 1 oz Cocchi Americano, dash Ango bitters @localwineco @hendricksgin

Bich's Special:

1 Dash Angostura bitters
1 oz Kina Lillet (Cocchi Americano)
2 oz. dry gin (Small's)

Stir with ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze orange zest over cocktail.

Both of these cocktails appear in The Savoy Cocktail Book, though I was not able to find any information as to why they have different names, yet are comprised of the same ingredients using the same preparation techniques. While both recipes call for dry gin, we opted to use "alternative" gins in our recipes. If you are a stickler for authentic replication, Plymouth or Beefeater are both excellent and readily available options.

The acquisition of Cocchi Americano as our stand in Kina Lillet has led to a search for classic Kina Lillet cocktails to try in their "original" format (Vesper coming soon...). This one had a citrus nose from the gin, very clean, with forward notes of pine, juniper, and cardamom. The finish was a spice frenzy with the bitterness of the cinchona and warm-spice from the angostura which went well with the cardamom-heavy finish of Small's gin.


 The Great Secret:

1 Dash Angostura bitters
1 oz Kina Lillet (Cocchi Americano)
2 oz. dry gin (Hendrick's)

Stir with ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze orange zest over cocktail.

Hendrick's seemed a worthy candidate for a mysterious cocktail given its own curious nature. The nose is complex citrus from the zest and the Cocchi, each having their own distinct, yet similar oranges notes, and a touch of rose petals. The sip is very smooth and light with a dry, slightly bitter finish. Angostura and Cocchi Americano make for a good pairing and the combination  leaves a cinnamon warmth on the tongue.

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.

Gigi- 1.5 oz @HendricksGin, .75 oz lemon juice, .5 oz @StGermainDrinks, .5 oz creme de violette, orange blossom water, lemon oils


1 1/2 oz. Gin (Hendrick's)
3/4 oz. Lemon juice
1/2 oz. Creme de Violette (Rothman and Winter)
1/2 oz. St. Germain
5 drops orange blossom water
Burnt lemon oils

Shake over ice. Strain. Warm zest with match, squeeze oils over flame into drink, slide peel around rim to cover in oils.

Keeping in the floral theme (see Jordaan) I created the Gigi (pronounced gig-ee) the diminutive of my grandmother's name Marguerite, and inspired by her lush gardens in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. The nose is an expected floral bouquet of violette and rose. St. Germain and violette on the swallow with bitter orange peel and almondine notes from the orange blossom water.