Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cocktail Wednesdays: The Algonquin

The Algonquin

Sorry for the delay in posting.  I've allowed myself to get rather wrapped up in holiday events.

The week after we tried The Benchley, we decided we must try the drink it was based on, The Algonquin.  As with the Benchley, this drink was created to honor the Round Table group of creatives and intellectuals who met regularly at New York's Algonquin Hotel in the 1920s.

It seems a theme this winter, as the Algonquin Round Table was also featured on the historical food blog Lost Past Remembered, where the author posted an Algonquin specialty, Lobster Fra Diavolo.

The Algonquin

1.5 oz Rye Whiskey
0.75 oz Dry Vermouth
0.75 oz Pineapple Juice

Shake over ice and strain. No garnish.

The verdict: Although this was a perfectly suitable drink, it seemed a disappointment after The Benchley. The Algonquin has fewer layers of flavor than the Benchley, and although the latter has less fruit juice, it is somehow more fruity and pineapple-y than the former.  On the whole a decent drink, and fairly dry for having fruit juice, but not as good as the Benchley.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cocktail Wednesdays: The Benchley

The Benchley

This past Wednesday was Repeal Day - that is, the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition.We chose to try the libation invented by the folks at 12 Bottle Bar that they posted for the event, The Benchley. This drink is a twist on The Algonquin, a drink with a mush longer legacy that, ironically, we have yet to try. The Benchley was named after a founding member of a group of writer, actors, critics, and "wits" that met regularly at the Algonquin hotel in New York, Robert Benchley. Today, he is probably best known for his acting and writing in Oscar-winning short film "How to Sleep" (1933).

The Benchley

1.5 oz Rye Whiskey
0.75 oz Dry Vermouth
0.75 Pineapple-Sriracha Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe.

For Pineapple-Sriracha Syrup:

1 part Pineapple Juice
1 part Sugar
Sriracha Hot Sauce to taste

Dissolve sugar in pineapple juice over very low heat. Stir in Sriracha, until you have reached an even balance between sweet and hot.

The verdict: This was a very unusual drink with many layers of flavor, and we all enjoyed it.  There was the fruitiness and the heat, flavors that played against each other in many ways like a sweet and sour sauce.