I’ve been doing some serious research for my latest Guardian column. It’s on cocktails made with fortified wine. I did so much research that I feel a bit bleary this morning. No matter, I can pretend it’s work. This is what I drank last night:
Named after the University in America. I can never think of Ivy league schools without thinking of Louis Winthorpe III’s awful friends in Trading Places. I imagine everyone is called Dash, Tash, Cash or Tad Allagash.
On second thoughts Princeton sounds fun!. Here’s the cocktail:
2 oz/ 60ml Old Tom Gin – this is a sweet gin. I didn’t have any so I used my special mixture gin which is based on Martin Miller gin topped up with dozens of sample bottles of gins I’ve been sent. I added a half teaspoon of sugar to make it sweet.
2 dashes orange bitters
¾ ounce/ 20ml – port chilled – I used Fonseca bin 27
Add the gin and the bitters to ice, stir and strain into a glass. I don’t have proper cocktail glasses so I used an Aspalls half pint glass that my brother pinched from a pub years ago.
Then very carefully pour the port down the side of the glass so it settles on the bottom. You will then have two-tone effect.
I couldn’t quite get the hang of this as it just tasted of sweetened gin. So I muddled it all together and it became better. A bit like sloe gin with a nice lift from the orange bitters. Only problem is it’s bloody strong and sweet. I can’t imagine drinking it all before it became warm.
The gin looks a bit cloudy doesn’t it? It think that’s undissolved sugar.
This was Dickens’ favourite. You can read all about it when the column appears.
About ¼ of a pint of amontillado sherry – I used Tesco finest made by Barbadillo. It’s not bad
Tea spoon of sugar
Crushed ice, lots
Slice of lemon and grapefruit
This is very refreshing. Tang of sherry goes nicely with citrus
Found this very moreish especially as it became dilute
Named after the former Minister of Education under Tony Blair.
1 part sweet vermouth – I used a bottle of Martini Rosso that had been sitting in our cupboard for years
2 parts fino sherry – Tio Pepe
2 dashes orange bitter, strip of orange zest
This is very light and delicate, could have done with more oomph. I ended up adding more rosso which improved it somewhat. The underwhelming results may have had something to do with my ancient bottle of Martini.
Named after a country club in New Jersey where they always dress for dinner.
2 parts gin (My house gin)
1 part fino
2 dash orange bitters
Recipe calls for one strip of orange peel, I used grapefruit
I like this. You can really taste the yeastiness and almonds of the sherry, and it goes really well with the gin. The orange bitters lifts it too. One for martini fans. I’d probably make it with a little more gin next time. Still this is an excellent drink. Next time I have a gin party. This is going to be the drink de jour.
I’ll post the Guardian article when it appears. It’s awfully clever.
All sherry recipes adapted from Talia Baocchi’s excellent new book: