Tuesday, July 22, 2014
The Princeton Cocktail: sophisticated, elegant, a bit arcane, and fully capable of Getting the Job Done.
I had never given much thought to the fact that there exist mixed drinks named after various educational institutions... but apparently, Ivy League cocktails have been around for quite some time, according to an article that had been graciously forwarded to me by Leslie, the Omnibus Driver.
Some of these cocktails sound like they’re worth a try, while others inspire a certain degree of fear and loathing... and that’s based solely on their ingredients, not on their names. Nevertheless, given my educational provenance (and given the contents of my little Lacquer Liquor Locker), I had to give the Princeton Cocktail a try. Here’s what to do:
2 ounces Old Tom gin (I used Hayman’s)
Couple dashes orange bitters (I used Fee Brothers)
¾ ounce ruby or tawny Port, preferably chilled (I used Warres Tawny)
Combine the gin and bitters with ice in a cocktail shaker. Stir well and strain into a cocktail glass. Carefully pour the Port into the glass along the side so that it forms a (mostly) separate layer at the bottom. Squeeze a bit of orange peel over the drink and discard (the peel, not the drink, Harvard Boy.)
If you don’t have Old Tom gin in your collection of spirits, you can concoct a rough approximation by using two ounces of Plymouth gin with a half-teaspoon of simple syrup.
Savor this cocktail slowly. Owing to the layer of Port at the bottom, its character changes with every sip. Have a few of ’em, and they’ll transport you to the verdant fields and Gothic spires of Old Nassau.
Update: I’ve now had a chance to try making one of these with Ransom Old Tom gin, and it’s also excellent, with a more complex malty character. Either way, a fine cocktail.