I obtained, late last week, a copy of the new, Revised & Expanded Deluxe (Soopa-Genius!) Edition of Ted Haigh's invaluable Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: From the Alamagoozlum to the Zombie and Beyond - 100 Rediscovered Recipes and the Stories Behind Them and I nearly wept unashamedly when I opened it and began to read. This book is pretty much my entire cocktail philosophy encapsulated between two covers: good spirits aren't cheap, but good drinks don't need a lot of them. The trend is towards goldfish-bowl sized vessels of cheap booze in garish colors, but classically, the drinks were small (usually no more than 4 oz) and well crafted. If you drink to savor rather than to get verschnickered, I truly believe you'll get a lot more out of your liquor-buying dollar.
And on the subject of dollars, that provides me with a nice segue to tonight's drink, the Park Avenue cocktail. The very name conjures up notions of gold-plated sidewalks, gem-encrusted parking meters, and small yappy-type dogs being walked by portly matrons. Happily, the ingredients for this cocktail are pretty easily come by.
Park Avenue CocktailIt's a strangely tropical drink, for being named after a NYC locale...Ted Haigh suggests it was switched at birth with the Palm Beach cocktail (gin, sweet vermouth and grapefruit juice, rather more bracing than balmy in character). That said, it's still a damn fine drink, and one that I'd like to see more of, rather than the "Blue BahamaMama MojitoTiniRita™", or whatever they're calling the latest liquor-laden travesty they're trying to foist upon an unsuspecting public.
2 oz gin
3/4 oz pineapple juice
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
2 teaspoons orange curaçao
Shake all with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.