Mixology Monday: Limit One

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So this time round, Mixology Monday (hosted at Kaiser Penguin) is about wickedly potent drinks – i.e. drinks you cannot safely drink more than one of. I didn’t have to think too long about what drink to write about. Since picking up a copy of Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, the Early Fogcutter has been a big favorite of mine, and one too rarely enjoyed. That being the case, Mixology Monday gave me a great excuse to mix one up.

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Recipe follows:

½ oz orgeat (Monin)

2 oz gold Cuban rum (Havana Club 3 anos)

1 oz pisco (Machu Pisco)

½ Plymouth Gin

1 oz orange juice

2 oz lemon juice

½ oz float of cream sherry (Canasta Cream – a blend of Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez)

 

Shake over ice and strain into an ice filled hurricane glass or similar.

 

I find the sherry float tends to sink. No big deal but if it bothers you a sweeter sherry might help matters.

 

This recipe strikes me as a bit of an old school drink, with its generous quantities and calls for the use of numerous old-timey and slightly oddball bottles. The recipe is far better than any subsequent Fogcutter I have come across. The Tony Ramos Fogcutter, featured on the facing page in Ted Haigh’s book, does not remotely compare.

 

Yep, this is yet another great pisco drink. I honestly do not work for a pisco company. I just think pisco is sorely underrated. I like eau de vie generally as a cocktail ingredient. Since pisco has a lot of eau de vie characteristics I like pisco too. The pisco does wonderful things in this drink, complementing the orgeat and the sherry float, and adding some highly spirituous fruitiness that makes the rum merely another layer rather than the whole story.

 

The gin is another genius addition. Gin is an urbane spirit not normally associated with tropical drinks, yet used judiciously it helps restore the exoticism of the tropics to the jaded 21st Century palette. No really, it does.

 

I have read claims that gin featured in the original Cuba Libre, so put on your best lab coat and perform this experiment. Toss a ½ ounce of gin into your next Cuba Libre, not forgetting to squeeze or muddle some lime in there too. Drink the resultant concoction. Regardless of the historical pedigree of the gin-spiked Cuba Libre, after trying one you are more likely to find yourself reaching for a second than worrying about the drinking habits of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders*. A gin-spiked Cuba Libre is delicious. Small quantities of gin complement rum beautifully, adding complexity without causing the least disturbance. This early Fogcutter recipe is a great example.

 

Delicious! . . . as the Chinese say. Now do I dare to make a second?

 

* Just in case anyone does not know, the Rough Riders (a voluntary military unit sent by the United States to assist in the Cuban War of Independence) are alleged to have invented the Cuba Libre during their sojourn on Cuba. I am not convinced this story holds much weight, but there is no doubting it is often repeated. The main problem with the story is that the Rough Riders left Cuba in 1898, but Coca Cola did not become available in Cuba until 1900. Hmm. . .

13 Responses to “Mixology Monday: Limit One”

  1. gilrain Says:

    Hmm, what’s a decent approximation of Cuban rum (can’t find it anywhere)? I’m going to mix this up with Cruzan Single Barrel Estate, for now, which I think is pretty good. I don’t mix much with rum, though, so it’s the weak spot in my spirits knowledge.

  2. gilrain Says:

    Mm, excellent! Wonderfully dry, for a tiki drink — and terribly refreshing. I’d almost have this for breakfast. Maybe that’s the inspiration for the name. I’d say this is a pick-me-up drink, for sure.

  3. seamus Says:

    Actually the recipe as printed in Ted Haigh’s book specified Bacardi Gold. I think we can assume though that Bacardi is no longer anything remotely like what it once was. Therefore I altered it to read ‘Cuban’.

    If you are in the U.S. and sourcing real Cuban rums is difficult then you could try Matusalem from the Dominican Republic. Their story is a little like Bacardi, being another big Cuban rum brand that shifted production overseas. Unlike Bacardi they seem to have remained quality focused and their products are good. Some might even prefer them to Havana Club.

    I also heard that the rapid growth of the Havana Club brand has led to them starting to import rum from elsewhere for blending. So even if you go out of way to find Havana Club who knows how much of it is Cuban? It is still a nice rum though.

    Cruzan is good too of course.

  4. gilrain Says:

    Hmm, sounds a lot like cigars, actually! I’ll see if I can hunt down some Matusalem. Thanks!

  5. Doug Winship Says:

    Now wait a minute! Are you saying that there is ANYTHING that Teddy Roosevelt couldn’t do? Those are fighting words. He’s been dead less than a hundred years, so he can probably still take you….
    In all seriousness, the Early Fogcutter looks cool, but the gin-spiked Cube Libré is going to get a try very soon. Thanks!

  6. Bunnyhugs » Blog Archive » The Flying Tiger Says:

    [...] found this one on CocktailDB while looking around for drinks using grenadine. In my post on The Fogcutter I mentioned how small quantities of gin can make an interesting contribution to rum cocktails. This [...]

  7. Dr. Bamboo Says:

    Boy, am I regretting that Pisco is not readily available in my neck of the woods :-(

  8. gilrain Says:

    Dr. Bamboo, you could probably substitute grappa, if needed. Pisco and grappa are pretty similar.

  9. Anavolena Says:

    I’m really enjoying this. Maybe a tad too tart; next time I’ll cut the lemon juice a 1/2 oz or so, but this fun to make with all the ingredients and even more fun to drink.

    I used Guacamayo, a Pisco puro; next time i’ll try the acholado i have on reserve.

  10. seamus Says:

    Dr. Bamboo, try Gilrain’s suggestion and use grappa if you can get some. I did a bit of a pisco and grappa comparison here:

    http://bunnyhugs.org/2008/03/11/piscos-at-dawn-part-deux/

    They are quite similar.

  11. jimmy Says:

    This one sounds great. The whole idea of adding a dash of gin to everything is an idea I can get behind.

  12. Tiare Says:

    Quote; The gin is another genius addition. Gin is an urbane spirit not normally associated with tropical drinks, yet used judiciously it helps restore the exoticism of the tropics to the jaded 21st Century palette. No really, it does.

    I find this really interesting..but before i can try this one i have to get some Pisco..

  13. Bunnyhugs » Blog Archive » The Rough Rider Cocktail Says:

    [...] few posts ago, while talking about the Early Fogcutter, I mentioned how small quantities of gin can do great things to rum cocktails. I mentioned the [...]

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