I’ve been featuring an awful lot of heavy, brown liquor drinks lately. That’s fine – I happen to love brown liquor! But I also love gin, and particularly love gin drinks that are crystal-clear, crisp, dry, and light on the palate, whether it be the classic Martini, the delicious H&H, or my own Beryl.
So when I ran across this interesting Martini variant in Julie Reiner’s terrific book, The Craft Cocktail Party, I knew I had to give it a shot. Reiner is responsible for both the first bar at which I ever tried a craft cocktail (The Flatiron Lounge) and my favorite bar in Brooklyn (Clover Club), and she’s a celebrated professional who’s respected throughout the world. She knows what she’s doing!
The use of apricot eau-de-vie is really interesting, here. As I talked about in our Gentleman’s Introduction to Brandy, eaux-de-vie are not sweet. They’re basically vodka that’s distilled from fruit and thus retains some of the fruit’s natural scent and flavor. This means the Gin Blossom is still a pretty dry drink, like a Martini, but with a substantial hit of apricot, especially in the nose. If you haven’t ever picked up an eau-de-vie before, I strongly recommend it. They’re fantastic as secondary ingredients for cocktails, and can really add to a drink without making it overly sweet or cloying.
- 1.5 oz. London Dry Gin (Boodles)
- 1.5 oz. Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
- .75 oz. Apricot Eau-de-Vie (Blume Marillen)
- 2 Dashes Orange Bitters (Angostura)
Combine all ingredients in a pint glass over ice and stir thoroughly. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with an orange twist.
Items in parentheses are what I used when making this drink, and are included as recommendations.