July 28, 2009

Beware the heavy-handed pour!

I was planning on making something entirely different tonight...a great drink I heard about from Tales of the Cocktail 2009 called The Violet Hour. However, my pouring hand had other plans, it seems. I was attempting to add 3/4 oz of sweet vermouth to my bourbon, already in my mixing glass, and, well...I overdid it. So I'll be featuring The Violet Hour some other time (get it? Hour? Time? Huh? Oh, forget it.) In an attempt to salvage the drink, I turned it into a variant of another bourbon and sweet vermouth concoction, the Fanciulli cocktail. The story behind the name is explained in detail in this article from the Wall Street Journal a few months back, so I'll just show you my variant, which I think holds up pretty well to the original.
Fanciulli Cocktail (variant)

2 oz bourbon
1 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1/4 oz dry vermouth
1/4 oz Fernet Branca
3 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine all with ice, stirring well until thoroughly chilled, strain into chilled cocktail glass.
Normally, this drink is just the bourbon, the sweet vermouth and the Fernet Branca, in slightly different (and mostly smaller proportions). Reluctant to let my precious Bulleit Bourbon go to waste (even though it was on sale, no sense wasting good whiskey), and having already mixed it with the bitters when I overpoured the sweet vermouth, I tried to temper it a bit. The dry vermouth countered it somewhat, and the small amount of Fernet augmented the bitters and balanced it out. All in all, this version holds up pretty well to the original, and for a simple variation on the hoary old Manhattan cocktail, it really has a fresh new angle to it. For a mistake, it's, happily, a most palatable one.
Fanciulli (variant)


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