The word “Scofflaw” has come to mean “A person who flouts the law, especially an unsustainable one.” But such was not always the case. It was in 1923, when Delcevare King, a member of the Anti-Saloon League, posed a contest to create a new word in order to combat the continued drinking which was going on during American Prohibition. The new word was to be one “which best expresses the idea of a lawless drinker, menace, scoffer, bad citizen, or whatnot, with the biting power of ‘scab’ or ‘slacker.'” The $200 prize elicited a huge response. On January 16th, 1924, the Boston Herald announced the winning word as “scofflaw”, with the winnings shared by the two Boston area residents, Henry Irving Dale and Kate L. Butler, who both submitted it. This was not the end of the story however, in just a little over a week, a salvo was launched from Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, where they created a new drink and christened it the “Scofflaw”.
I have three recipes. One is from Ted Haigh by way of Imbibe Magazine.
The Martini that most folks know, if they order a Martini in a bar, is between six and nine ounces of chilled vodka or gin, perhaps with the glass washed with vermouth. (Great! Three drinks for the price of one!) And depending on the vermouth being used this is perhaps a reasonable caution. However, it’s not a classic Martini: it’s a glass of [insert spirit here].
A lot of mixing drinks is taste, often opinionated taste. This is fine. One can even be snooty about it if one wants. I’ve found that each of the Martini variations I’ve tried has its own taste, some better than others, and its own rewards, such that the proportion I mix tends toward my preference of the moment. Tonight, to go with the Italian Wedding Soup my wife made, I stirred up a Sweet Martini, using Tanqueray London Dry Gin, Martini & Rossi Rosso, and Angostura Bitters.
1 1/2 oz gin
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
1 dash Angostura bitters
Stir in a mixing glass and strain in to a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
The proportion here is 2:1 gin to vermouth. This is slightly less gin than called for in the CocktailDB recipe, but if one uses their scaling tool to adjust from a 4.5 oz. glass to a 4 oz. glass, one arrives at this ratio. I have a 4 oz. glass, but wasn’t considering that; I just like the taste at 2:1. Robert Hess, in the video below, uses 3:1. That’s also fine, if one prefers.
Last time I checked James Bond was an imaginary character. And I’m guessing that you probably stopped listening to imaginary characters in childhood. — Robert Hess
Legal Sea Foods’ Deadrise looks like this, and contains Belvedere vodka, cucumber, lime, and grapefruit bitters. They were quite willing to make a sample, which was tasty, but I asked that they substitute Hendrick’s Gin for the vodka.
Hmm, I thought, this is definitely a drink I want to make at home. But what’s the recipe? I suppose one could experiment, but not I. No, experimentation is for those without elite research skills. Someone, somewhere, had published this recipe, and I would find it.
In an old fashioned, or rocks, glass place a half cube of sugar. Soak the sugar with two to three dashes of Angostura bitters. Add a splash, if that, of water. Muddle until the sugar is completely dissolved in the bitters. Muddle a small piece of orange peel. Add two ounces of applejack, and some ice.
This week I have been concentrating on the Old Fashioned, varying which bourbon I use, which bitters, which garnish, and the balance of sugar and water. I should, however, stop saving this last cherry for the next Rob Roy. The drinks are very different, just by varying the bourbon.
Tuthilltown Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey, at 46% ABV and made entirely of New York corn, is very smooth, and obviously corn. There’s a sweetness to it that’s not unlike fresh grilled corn on the cob. Given one word to use, I would characterize this whiskey as simple.
For each, I’ve used Gilway Demerara sugar cubes, picked up at my local grocer. The grocer also stocks Domino sugar cubes, but I usually prefer the taste of demerara or turbinado sugar. The cube was soaked with two to three dashes of either Angostura Orange Bitters or Angostura Aromatic Bitters. Careful with the dashes from the aromatic bitters bottle; the hole is larger than that on the orange bitters. The recipe as given previously calls for the aromatic bitters, which have a complex flavor and smell a bit like nutmeg. The orange bitters smell like fresh orange peel. Either pairs nicely with the slice of orange used as garnish. The orange bitters will obviously enhance the orangeness of the drink. Water sufficient to barely top the sugar cube was added, and then the sugar muddled until thoroughly dissolved.
Ice was added, then the chosen bourbon, and the glass garnished with a slice of orange.
One must test the results. Both bitters work well with both bourbons, but I prefer the orange bitters with the Hudson Baby Bourbon, and the aromatic with Buffalo Trace.
There are two results for Pink Gin in CocktailDB. I’ve made both. They differ slightly, in that the first washes the glass with bitters in addition to mixing bitters with the gin, whereas the second does not. The proportions of gin to bitters are basically the same, and can be varied to taste.
1 1/2 oz. gin
a dash or four of Angostura bitters
Add the gin and bitters to a mixing glass. Add ice, then stir briskly to chill. Strain into a cocktail glass.
The Old Fashioned is probably not a drink you want to order where you can’t see them fix it, and thus are unable to correct mistakes made in the preparation. I had a sickly sweet one on Mother’s Day, and wouldn’t recommend the experience to anyone. Don Draper, in an episode from season three of Mad Men, “My Old Kentucky Home,” builds his in a more old fashioned way, but he’s not tending my bar; I am, and I do the same.
In an old fashioned, or rocks, glass place a half cube of sugar. Soak the sugar with two to three dashes of Angostura bitters. Add a splash, if that, of water. Muddle until the sugar is completely dissolved in the bitters. Add two ounces of bourbon, and some ice. Garnish with any or all of a cherry, an orange slice, and a lemon wedge.
After a late, or early for me, arrival home from the office, I fried up a pair of cheeseburgers. I’m not quite ready to drink the Budweiser I have in the house, so what cocktail might go with a cheeseburger?