For this month’s MixMo I’m going to try something different. Instead of giving you a bunch of recipes to gorge on like I have in the past, I’m going to make you work for your meal for a change. While Marleigh over at Sloshed may be hosting this month’s MixMo and supposedly dictating the terms, I’ve decided to supercede her authority and stretch my MixMo posting over three days (so I’m a prick, sue me). So, if you keep coming back, three days (and posts) in a row will have brandy as an ingredient. And if you hang out to the very end, for all of you Molecular Mixology buffs, there will be a MM styled drink with brandy in it (given how many people find my site by typing in molecular mixology, I figure it’ll give some of you incentive to come back anyway).
As a tease, I’ve decided that my first recipe would be a drink that I know our dear friend over at the Cocktail Chronicles would enjoy. That’s right my clever Sherlocks (and avid readers of Paul’s blog), you’re getting a cocktail with orgeat. Pulled from the Bishop and Babcock Co.’s Mixed Drinks and How To Make Them, published in 1900, I bring you the:
MIKADO COCKTAIL (1900 version)
Mixing Glass – ½ glass ice, one teaspoon Orgeat syrup, one dash Angostura bitters, two pieces lemon peel, one wineglass brandy. Stir well and strain into a cocktail glass.
Which I’ve translated and adapted to:
MIKADO COCKTAIL (2008 version)
2 ½ oz Cognac
1 bar spoon orgeat
2 dashes Angostura
2 wide pieces of lemon peel
stir all well with ice (including peel)
strain into a chilled cocktail glass
garnish with a lemon peel
Now I know that the well versed of you mixologists out there will recognize this as a variation of Jerry Thomas’ Japanese Cocktail, however there is one major difference: it is made with bitters that one can still purchase. While Jerry specified Boker’s bitters in his cocktail, the good people at Bishop and Babcock Co. have decided (in between selling you various beer drawing and cooling apparatuses) to use the readily available and still produced Angostura bitters.
When making this concoction, it is integral to the balance of the cocktail that you stir the drink with the lemon peel. The oils released from the stirring action, as well as the oils that you will spray on top of the cocktail whilst garnishing will help to tame down the sweetness of the orgeat (as will the extra dash of Angostura that I’ve asked you to add).
This is a simple drink, but it has an understated elegance about it, and I can easily transport myself back to 1900, and imagine myself sitting at Jerry’s bar and insisting that he make his Japanese Cocktail with Angostura, and not Boker’s, as the Mikado has a much more genteel ring about it than the Japanese (yeah, that’s right, I’m even a prick when I’m imagining that I’ve time-travelled to the past).
Enjoy, and happy Mixology Monday.