July 19, 2013
One of my favorite old-timey books of cocktails and drinks is called Crosby Gaige’s Cocktail Guide and Ladies Companion. It’s by Crosby Gaige (hah!), who was a bon vivant about town in the early-to-mid part of last century. The book is a gas, as well as having bunches of good recipes. Recently, I tapped into it when I wasn’t sure what I wanted to imbibe, and found a fine recipe called Ants in the Pants, in The Old Gin Mill section – which makes sense, cause I wanted some gin. There was one wrinkle, however. The recipe called for Grand Marnier, which I was somehow out of (quick, Grand Marnier people, send me a bottle. Oops, too slow). Which led to me subbing in Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao, which yeah, I know is different, but it’s so so so good. And you know what? The drink ended up delicious, and I think Mr. Gaige himself would have approved. Oh, the change did make me alter the title, as you can see if you can read, and why would you be here if you couldn’t? Because where I come from, drinks have individual names, like people. And individual gins, which here should be Alpinist Gin, from the Seattle Distilling Company, if you can find it. It’s got the juniper hopping, but also has some other herbally and botanical goodness that adds a lot to the drink.
Pants in the Pants
2 ounces Alpinist Gin
1/2 ounce Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth (I used Cocchi Torino, and suggest it)
1 dash fresh lemon juice
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add it all why dontcha.
2. Shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass.
February 25, 2009
I was looking through my library (which isn’t like the booze Library of Alexandria or something, but which is an agreeable little stack of books about drinks, drinking, and more drinking) the other night for recipes for the Betsy Ross, because my pal Andrew had asked about it (for his new bar, which I talked about below. Really, this is turning into the Andrew Bohrer admiration society). Anywho, the flag-making patriot-in-liquid form as far as I found goes back to 1941 (and by the way, history buffs, I’m not saying I made a complete search of every known record and microfilm and microfiche, but just that I looked through the books in the above mentioned library), to a recipe in one of my favorites, the jolly Crosby Gaige’s Cocktail Guide and Ladies Companion. Which was published in 1941, as you might have surmised. Now, this is a winding road way of getting here, but while tracking down the info, I re-noticed another drink, across the page from Betsy Ross, a drink with the enticing and intriguing name, “Mrs. Solomon Wears Slacks.” Which is one of the top twenty-five drink names. Or, at least, that’s what I’m saying today. In honor of Mr. Gaige’s (or whomever’s) naming prowess, I made the mix, a brandy-based affair, and it was pretty swell. I even sugared the Champagne flute’s rim, as suggested, getting sweetly jiggy with it. I mussed around with the Slacks some (gawd, that’s fun to say), but the basic ingredients stayed the same (I went a snitch higher on curaçao and bitters, and brandy for that matter). I suggest serving it up at those affairs where slacks are worn, or anytime you want to be a bit daring (which slacks were in 1941. And that’s how I’m wearing it).
2 ounces brandy
1/2 ounce orange curaçao
3 dashes Angostura bitters
1. Put a good helping of sugar (but not a mound or anything) on a saucer. Wet the outside rim of a Champagne flute (I used a lemon slice, but you could also rotate it through water on a saucer–just don’t get any water in the glass). Carefully rotate the outside rim of the glass through the sugar–but you don’t want to get any sugar on the inside. No, no, not a grain. So, be careful.
2. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with ice cubes. Add the brandy, curaçao, and bitters. Stir well.
3. Strain the mix into the flute. Garnish with the lemon twist (making sure now, that you get that swoosh of lemon oils from the twist into the drink and not into the atmosphere at large). Now, dance!