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The Lewis & Martin Cocktail

Okay, I have a confession to make — the only reason I posted the Income Tax Cocktail yesterday was because of its name, not because it’s one we particularly like. (We’re much bigger fans of the Brooklyn than the Bronx.) In fact, during cocktail hour at the house, we didn’t even drink one. “I’m not too excited about that one,” Wes said. “The whole gin-and-juice thing is not appealing to me at all.” So we drank something else.

This is what we drank — a surprising combination of ingredients, a gorgeous, peach-like color and an amazing flavor. (Crème de banane? You’ve gotta be kidding me!) Unsurprisingly, it’s a Dr. Cocktail creation, culled from Gary Regan’s The Joy of Mixology (always head to one’s cocktail library or to CocktailDB when you’re looking to try something you’ve never tried before; you’ll do well more often than not).

The Lewis & Martin Cocktail

2 ounces Bourbon.
1 ounce Lillet blanc.
3/4 ounce crème de banane.
2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters.
Lemon twist.

Combine with ice in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass; stir for no less than 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist the lemon peel to express the oil onto the surface of the drink; garnish with the peel.

It’s really, really good. Ah, that amazing alchemy of mixology strikes again. There was a bit of controversy in the book with regards to this drink’s preparation — Gary advocates that this drink should be stirred, as it’s made entirely with clear liquors. Doc shakes his, saying something about being a savage and shaking everything. Wes chimed in that he prefers his drinks shaken as well, as they’re colder that way. I decided that this one might benefit by being a few degress warmer, to let the complex flavors develop, plus it had no juice in it, only clear liquors, and I love the silky texture brought about by stirring, so I stirred. That’s my recommendation.

The Income Tax Cocktail

As it’s April 15, I expect a lot of us might need one of these tonight. Or six. If it seems familiar, it is — it’s basically a Bronx Cocktail with bitters added.

Income Tax Cocktail

1-1/4 ounces gin.
3/4 ounce orange juice.
1/4 ounce dry vermouth.
1/4 ounce sweet vermouth.
1 dash Angostura bitters or other aromatic bitters.

Shake & strain, serve in a cocktail glass. No garnish.

Pour me another one …

La Tavola Rotonda

Ooh, this is a good ‘un, and brand spanking new. Wes and I were very pleased to be guinea pigs in trying this creation, straight from the laboratory of Dr. Cocktail, its creator.

The inspiration from this one came from the venerable Algonquin cocktail, about which Doc said, “I really like the idea of Bourbon with pineapple juice, but that white vermouth just seemed to water it down.” I agree; when Wes first started making these a few years ago, we liked the same idea, but after trying one we cut the vermouth by half on the second go-round. Doc wanted to take that base and layer the flavor with a multitude of bitters, finally balancing that with a touch of maraschino. The result is absolutely lovely.

Of course, you all now have a bottle of Torani Amer on hand. If you don’t have any, you need some — it’s a lovely bitter orange aperitif, and you’ll need it for classic cocktails that call for Amer Picon, such as the classic Picon Punch, as well as the Hoskins and now this one as well. Doc also recommends Evan Williams sour mash Bourbon, a great flavor for a great price.

La Tavola Rotonda

2 ounces Evan Williams Bourbon (or your favorite).
1 ounce pineapple juice.
1/2 ounce Campari.
1/2 ounce Torani Amer.
1/2 ounce Maraschino liqueur.
2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters.

Combine all ingredients with cracked ice in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for about 15 seconds, until very cold. Strain into a cocktail glass and enjoy.

You get a lovely balance to the bitters from the maraschino and the sweetness of the juice, plus a tiny bit of tartness from the latter. The bitters-loving cocktailian will love this one. Thanks, Doc! (If any of y’all try this one out, leave a comment and let Doc and me know if you liked it.)