Master of Cocktails - The Modern Cocktail No. 2
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Master of Cocktails - The Modern Cocktail No. 2

by Ben Ellefsen     28. April 2014 11:26

Master of Cocktails Modern Cocktail No 2

This week on #MasterofCocktails we're making a lesser known cocktail – the 'Modern Cocktail No. 2', taken from the superb reference tome that is The Savoy Cocktail Book.

Now – it's worth remembering that Mr Harry Craddock, the author of this book, would have had access to very different ingredients to the ones we have today. For that reason, I've (hopefully lovingly) changed a few of the quantities and in one case omitted an ingredient. I'll explain as we go.

Master of Cocktails Modern Cocktail No 2 recipe

Master of Cocktails Modern Cocktail No 2 ingredients

You’ll be needing these...

List of Ingredients

  • 40ml Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Sloe Gin
  • 10ml Reference Series II Blended Malt Whisky
  • a couple of dashes of Regan's Orange Bitters
  • a teeny bit (5 drops or so) St. George Absinthe Verte
  • So – first up, we're going to measure out 40ml of Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s weapons grade epic Sloe Gin.

    Master of Cocktails Professor Cornelius Ampleforth Sloe Gin

    As you can see, it's super-viscous, rich, and sweet. For this reason I'm omitting the Grenadine.

    Master of Cocktails measure Sloe Gin

    ...quite apart from the fact that I've never found one better than 'fucking awful', I don't think it would add anything. The jamminess and syrupy character is present in the sloe gin, so we're going to be okay.

    The next ingredient is a blended whisky. I'm going to be using a brand newly launched (word?) dram:

    Master of Cocktails Reference Series II

    This whisky is 'Reference Series II'. If you want to know more about this – there's a blog here.

    I'm going to be using 10ml in this drink. Less than proscribed by Mr. Craddock. I think I'm going for the same thing as he was in this drink – a subtle wood enhancement to the sloe gin, rather than an oaken club round the face, which is what we'd get if we used 20ml (as called for by the original recipe).

    Master of Cocktails measure Reference Series II

    The other thing to mention about this is that it's a Blended Malt Whisky as opposed to the recipe's 'Blended'. No grain means bigger malt flavours, and ultimately that we need less of it to achieve the same effect.

    Next – a couple of dashes of Regan's Orange Bitters.

    Master of Cocktails Regans Orange Bitters

    And a teeny bit (5 drops?) St. George Spirits Absinthe Verte. Not too much or you'll properly cock it up.

    Master of Cocktails St George Spirits Absinthe Verte

    Now sling in some ice and give it a stir for 30 seconds or so. You do want a good bit of dilution.

    Master of Cocktails stir

    Once done, strain into your pre-chilled Coupette Glass that I definitely remembered to tell you to chill. Yep...

    I'll just vamp for a minute or two...

    So – the idea of this drink for me, isn't to combine whisky, gin and flavourings, but rather to accentuate the sloe gin with some subtle wood-notes, and to 'pique' it up a bit with a touch of bitters. If you find yourself with a drink that tastes of whisky, you need to dial it back a bit (or add more sloe gin).

    Right then. Enough vamping. Coupette out of the freezer...

    Master of Cocktails chilled coupette

    ...and strain the drink into it.

    Master of Cocktails strain

    Voilà. The Modern Cocktail No. 2.

    Master of Cocktails Modern Cocktail No 2



    Anyone guess what next week's drink is from that final image? But...

    Master of Cocktails Next Week

    Next week, you'll be needing these...
    Pineapple, Coconut Milk, Havana Club Añejo 3 Year Old, Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva

    but but but... You're going to need to do 2 things to the pineapple: First – leave it to get *really* ripe. If you go to the supermarket tomorrow, buy the ripest they've got and leave it until Saturday night, you'll do well.

    Secondly, you're going to need to peel, core, slice, and freeze it. Thusly:

    Master of Cocktails pineapple


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