October 13, 2011

Oh, is it Thursday evening again? So soon? Another opportunity to dream up a cocktail for @CreativCulinary’s Happy Hour Friday. This one was fun.

A friend recently sent me a recipe for something called the Ideal Cocktail, adapted from an early 20th century tipple. In common cocktail ratios, gin, sweet vermouth and Luxardo, the maraschino liqueur, is stirred with ice, strained and served in a martini glass. The recipe was particularly adamant about the perfection of the grapefruit wedge that garnishes the glass.

This recipe sounded so delicious, but I had no grapefruit and it was raining and ghastly outside. I would not be deterred.

Remembering the ruby grapefruit triple sec I concocted back in January, another ideal cocktail came together deliciously.



Another Ideal Cocktail

1-1/2 oz good gin
3/4  oz sweet vermouth
1/2 oz grapefruit triple sec
Garnish: Home canned maraschino cherries

Pour the gin, vermouth and triple sec in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake vigorously.

Serve over ice in a special glass.  Give yourself two cherries. It’s been one of those days.



7 Responses to “Another Ideal Cocktail”

  1. John Nichols

    The recipe said to “Stir” and strain into a (hopefully chilled) cocktail glass. When you changed the recipe you said to “Shake”. Do you know what harm you can cause to a classic recipe with this kind of casual change of all that is sacred? All cocktails with clear ingredients should be stirred. Cocktails with an opaque ingredient, like lemon or lime juice, can be shaken.

    Here’s some backup opinion from Google cut and past :

    When to Shake:
    Shake cocktails when they include fruit juices, cream liqueurs, simple syrup, sour mix, egg, dairy or any other thick or flavorful mixers. Shaking will create a strained drink with a cloudy, effervescent look at first that will clear up within a few minutes after straining.

    When to Stir:
    Stir cocktails that use distilled spirits or very light mixers only. Stirring is a more gentle technique for mixing cocktails and is used to delicately combine the drinks with a perfect amount of dilution. Many gin and whiskey cocktails are stirred because shaking is said to “bruise” the spirit.

    This “rule” refers to cocktails and not necessarily mixed drinks which are almost always stirred and served with a sipstick or straw for further, fine-tuned stirring as the drink is consumed.

    All this being said I’m anxious to try the original version. Thanks.

    • Cathy

      Sorry if I offended. I did try stirring the drink and preferred the rogue shaken variety for the less heavy handed alcohol rush on first sip. Nevertheless, I appreciate the education!

  2. Barbara | Creative Culinary

    Cathy I so appreciate your drinking with me every week. I guess we’re just crazy rule breakers but I suppose my mixology experience is more in line with James Bond than Google. Shaken, not stirred. 🙂

  3. John Nichols

    I believe we should have strong opinions about food and cocktails and argue endlessly. It’s much healthier than having strong opinions about politics and religion and arguing endlessly. No war was ever started over a cocktail recipe that I know of.

  4. Tarc

    Just a FYI – Luxardo is an Italian liquor maker, and they have a list of terrific products, including the Maraschino liquor. That one has been on my acquire list for some time now, but they don’t sell it here in my state. I’ll eventually save my pennies and order a bottle from New York. 😉


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