I went through a couple of my books, did some research online, and just looked around. You have to remember the rules: it has to have the apricot brandy, it has to be fairly simple, and it has to be published somewhere (no originals).
So what happened?
I had planned on waiting until tomorrow and getting my co-conspirator at the Den to help me, but then I figured, what the heck, I think I know what I want to do.I was just excited to be in a contest with as esteemed people as this one. But hey - maybe people will like my suggestions.
I don't have a lot of the really old cocktail books, but I saw four recipes in Ted Haigh's _Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails_ and a number of recipes in Gary Regan's _The Joy of Mixology_.
I skipped a number of them that had stuff like rum in them since I didn't feel like dealing with rum this week. I went through the rest and got rid of ones I felt were derivative of each other, or at least rather similar.
Finally I had one recipe and it was time to give it a shot - I wouldn't make y'all drink something that I wouldn't drink myself! So I made one, and hey - not bad. Then I realized it had Calvados in it, and that's not exactly the most common ingredient in the world - I still get overly excited when I see a bar with it.
Thus I had to go with a different one. It's from the same book, but had what I liked - a nice clean taste, simple construction (no ambiguities), and best of all, I didn't have to try to make a lemon twist or something (which I'm not very good at).
It had a nice tart taste to it - I'll be making it again when we get up to Kentucky Derby time, since it's named for a private club in Louisville. I got it from page 102 of Haigh's _Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails_.
2 ounces gin
1 ounce apricot brandy
2 or 3 dashes Peychaud bitters
3/4 ounce lime juice
Shake in an iced shaker and strain into a cocktail glass.
My second place cocktail, with that whole Calvados problem, was this one from pages 38-39 of the same book:
The Golden Dawn
3/4 oz Calvados
3/4 oz dry gin
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz apricot-flavored brandy
3/4 oz orange juice
Shake and strain. Drop a stemless cherry into it as a garnish. Dribble some real grenadine into it (but don't stir!). (I can't wait to try this one with applejack, but I see that even less in bars around the DC area than Calvados.)
Anyways, hope y'all enjoy.
- SeanMike in the Scofflaw's Den (East Falls Church outpost)
The "simple" part of the instructions gets harder and harder as your bar gets better and better, I think - heck, now that I can go to so many bars and say "eh, I've got better at home" I keep forgetting things like "oh, most bars don't have Calvados".
Anyways - I still have plenty of things I want to make for experimentation purposes - and to post on here!
Given that I fell on ice tonight and broke my laptop, and that it was a hellacious ride home - I had a nice sip of some Glenfiddich 15 year old.
What would you have drank?