In our previous post, we related the background of and visit to Charlie Palmer’s Burritt Room + Tavern. Head bar man Josh Trabulsi has graciously provided his cocktail recipes and given us permission to post them so we can all make these excellent drinks at home.
Let’s begin with the Manhattan derivative Berlinetta (shown left), named after the Mystic Hotel’s ground-level bar and private room. The basic ingredients are Bourbon (Josh prefers to use Four Roses), Carpano Antica Vermouth and Cynar, the Italian amaro made from artichokes:
1.5 oz Bourbon (Josh uses Four Roses)
1.5 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth
0.5 oz Cynar
2 dashes orange bitters
Add all ingredients to a cocktail mixer with ice. Stir 10 seconds and then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.
In keeping with the historical theme of the Burritt Room’s 120+ years in existence, Josh chose to put the Knickerbocker á la Monsieur on the menu since it originated a mere three blocks away, at what was once the Occidental Hotel in 1862 by Jerry Thomas. Usually made with rum and raspberry syrup, Josh updated it by using the Clément aged Rhum Agricole as the base. Made with pure sugar cane juice in place of molasses that is usually used for rums, The Rhum Agricole has a protected designation of origin (AOC) from the French Martinique islands. Less sweet and aged in bourbon barrels for a minimum of four years, the Clément Rhum Agricole offers a ‘grassy’ blend to the fruit balancing out the sweetness of the drink. The Knickerbocker á la Monsieur’s basic ingredients are Aged Rhum Agricole, Orange Curacao, Raspberry syrup and lemon juice:
Knickerbocker á la Monsieur (alla Josh Trabulsi)
2 oz Aged Rhum Agricole (preferably Clément)
0.5 oz Cointreau
0.5 oz Raspberry Gum Syrup (Small Hands) or Raspberry Syrup
1 oz lemon juice
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and muddle the raspberries. Shake to chill then double strain into a glass with ice. Garnish with raspberries and a lemon wheel.
The Vesper Lynd is the classic martini cocktail named after a fictional character in Ian Fleming’s James Bond book/movie Casino Royale. In the book, Fleming created a martini that Bond names the Vesper made with “Three measures of Gordon’s [gin], one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel.” From that point on, Bond’s martini’s were famously shaken, not stirred.
Josh took this classic and updated it by cutting out the vodka all together and making it with the Leopold’s over-proofed Navy Strength Gin. Josh reasons that the vodka addition to the original was to up the proof of the Gin, and by using Leopold’s Navy Strength Gin proofed at 114, it has plenty of alcohol already. He gave us tastes of the gin straight — it didn’t taste over-proofed and was extremely quaffable with a nice blend of herbal and citrus overtones. He also replaced the Lillet Kina with a cucumber-infused Dolin Blanc Vermouth. He uses the kitchen’s compression chamber to quickly infuse the vermouth, but the same results could be achieved by leaving the cucumber in the vermouth longer. The infused Dolin vermouth itself is also very tasty, easily drinkable as a chilled apéritif.
The basic ingredients for the Vesper Lynd are Leopold’s Navy Strength Gin and cucumber-infused Dolin Blanc Vermouth. This drink should convince anyone that martinis should be made with gin:
1.5 oz Leopold’s Navy Strength Gin
1.5 oz *Cucumber-infused Dolin Blanc vermouth
Place all ingredients in a cocktail mixer filled with ice and stir for 35 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a cucumber slice.
* Infuse half a chopped cucumber in a bottle of Dolin Blanch for 2 hours, then strain.