July 2, 2009

There are many drinks with this name; this is the non-crappy one.

For a time, the big three of the Ivy League Universities had a drink named after them. The Princeton was gin, ruby port, and orange bitters; the Harvard was cognac, sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters. There are, however, multiple drinks vying for the title of the Yale Cocktail. Most of them sound abominably horrid, like gin, dry vermouth and blue curaçao (allegedly to replace the créme d'Yvette that used to color the drink). In his "Savoy Cocktail Book", Harry Craddock eschewed the novelty of color in favor of something that actually didn't look like Smurf urine and taste nearly as bad. Instead, he combined, well...let me show you...
Yale Cocktail

1 bar spoon orange bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 1/2 oz London dry gin (use one with a little backbone)

Shake all with ice, strain into rocks glass, top with club soda, garnish with lemon twists.
Now this version is good, don't get me wrong, but club soda is a little dull sometimes. So what I did, since I can't leave well enough alone, is top the drink with tonic water instead of club soda, and garnished with a paper-thin slice of lime, the gin and tonic's natural ally. Oh, this is a wonderful drink, friends and neighbors. The bite of the gin is tempered with the sweet-spiciness of the orange bitters, and the dash of Angostura enhances that further. The tonic water keeps it crisp and refreshing, rather than merely diluting it, and its effervescence is just icing on the cake. Oh, how I love it!
Yale Cocktail


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