Cocktail of the Day: The Ephemeral

This one comes from David Shenaut, bartender at the Teardrop Lounge in Portland. I had planned to make it last night, but Wes already had John Coltharp’s lovely Historic Core cocktail ready for me when I got home, and we’re still in liver recovery mode after Seattle — only one drink a night for a li’l while. This sounds terrific, though, and it’s my turn to mix tonight.

I’m thrilled to see Dolin Blanc being embraced so quickly. How can it not? It’s a fantastic product. All three kids of Dolin Vermouth are, and they’re brand-new to this country although they’ve been made in France by the same family using the same recipes since 1821. They’re all lighter and drier, marvelously flavored. The “Blanc” variety is distinct from the Dry, as it’s a sweet white vermouth and is so delicious I’m happy to drink it on its own, on the rocks with an orange peel. I’m going to be doing a lot of experimenting with this one. It’s starting to get wide distribution on the coasts; L.A. folk can find it at The Wine House in West L.A. or Silverlake Wine.

For L.A. locals, Bitter Truth bitters are avaiable at Bar Keeper on Sunset in Silverlake; in Seattle at De Laurenti in Pike Place Market, or via mail order from Germany.

Right now I only have Hayman’s Old Tom, which is on the softer side but still makes a lovely drink with a subtle interplay of flavors. David told me later that Hammond’s is “soft and pretty,” while the stupendous brand-new barrel-aged Ransom’s, made in Oregon based on research and specifications by David Wondrich, is “deep and rich.” I got to taste some Ransom’s while I was in Seattle, and that stuff is just mind-bendingly great. When it finally makes it down here I’m probably in for a case of it.

The Ephemeral
(by David Shenaut, Teardrop Lounge, Portland)

1-1/2 ounces Old Tom gin. (I have Hayman’s on hand; I’ll check and see what David uses.)
1 ounce Dolin Vermouth Blanc.
2 barspoons St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur.
3 dashes Bitter Truth Celery Bitters.
Grapefruit peel.

Combine with ice in a mixing glass and stir for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or coupe, and garnish with the grapefruit peel.

I hope to do a whole writeup on Dolin soon.