(This is part of a drink-by-drink Christmas eve exploration of Charles H. Baker’s 1939 cocktail compendium book, The Gentleman’s Companion)
We have taken a detour into the other available cocktail guide the house houses – in order to escape Baker’s rampant internationalism and egg whites – Patrick Gavin Duffy’s similarly opinionated yet less richly anecdotal 1934 Official Mixer’s Manual, and have emerged girded with The Journalist. What girding it provides, however, has proven inadequately uplifting or organizing (and in this respect most unlike a girdle), for all that it is recommended by its pleasant cantaloupe hue. Initially puzzling, in the way that it hints at something almost tequila-esque (probably the fault of the citrus), while being fundamentally gin and vermouth-driven, the puzzle turns resolves in a flabby and underwhelming fashion, more a curiosity than a genuine intrigue.
Lemon juice, 2 dashes
Curaçao, 2 dashes
Angostura, 1 dash
French Vermouth, 1/6th
Italian Vermouth, 1/6th
Stir well in ice and strain.
Followed immediately by an unlabelled mystery beer in a re-used Grölsch bottle, due to impatience. Tasted like a good American pale ale. Curiouser and curiouser.