Well, it’s finally warm enough to want some cooler, more refreshing cocktails, so let’s do something rare for me (and for this column): let’s make a long drink. Specifically, let’s make my grand-prize-winning entry into Tanqueray’s 2010 “Best T&T” contest.
The goal of the contest, and of the drink, was to make an interesting spin on the traditional gin & tonic. The cocktail had to use Tanqueray gin and tonic water, of course. There were also specific limits about how much booze the drink could have, which I adhered to. Other than that, you could pretty much do whatever you wanted.
My goal was to add some nuance while celebrating the drink’s British roots. While thinking of ingredients, I remembered reading the Paddington Bear stories as a child, and thought of the title character’s love for orange marmalade, a classic English spread for toast or crumpets. You can find it in just about any grocery store. I thought stirring that into the drink, while adding some bitters and vermouth for complexity, might produce something delicious.
The judges apparently agreed! The cocktail won me, among other things, a three-day stay in New York City that included a “cocktail safari” through the city, where my wife and I visited several different, excellent cocktail bars in the company of Mr. Angus Winchester (Tanqueray’s Global Ambassador at the time) and Mr. Tony Sachs (Huffington Post spirits journalist. It was an amazing experience that only helped solidify my love of the world of cocktails.
This article is a modified and enhanced version of a post that ran on my nightly cocktail blog, DrinkShouts. Liquors in parentheses are what I used when I made this recipe, and are included as suggestions.
The English Bulldog Cocktail Recipe
- Cocktail Strainer
- Bar spoon
- 1.25 oz. Gin Tanqueray Gin
- .75 oz. Dry vermouth Noilly Prat
- .5 oz. Fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp. Orange marmalade
- Dash orange bitters Regans’
- Tonic Fever Tree Naturally Light
- Lime wedge Garnish
- Orange twist Garnish
- Combine all ingredients except tonic over ice in a cocktail shaker and shake thoroughly.
- Strain into a chilled, ice-filled highball glass, and top with tonic water. Stir gently. Garnish with a lime wedge and an orange twist.