The challenge this month is to bring to light a drink that you think deserves to be resurrected from the past, and placed back into the spotlight. It could be pre-prohibition, post-war, that horrible decade known as the 80′s, it doesn’t really matter. As long as it is somewhat obscure, post it up. If possible try to keep to ingredients that are somewhat readily available. While we all appreciate the discovery of an amazing cocktail, if we can’t make it, it’s no fun for anyone.
While I have spent a lot of time persuing older cocktail guides, I knew the drink I wanted to include when I read the topic: the Alaska Cocktail. And given today my region is in the throes of a snowpocalypse, I felt inspired to make one.
I can’t remember when I first discovered the Alaska Cocktail. I know I’d made at least two at home before the time I went to Zig Zag, asked Murray for something with gin in, and he returned saying, “This is called the Alaska…” and I had to laugh, because I knew what was in it, and that I would love it.
2 oz London dry gin (Voyager)
1/4 oz yellow chartreuse
2 dashes orange bitters
Stir with ice until glacially cold, strain into chilled cocktail glass.
I have yet to find a good explanation for the name. The cocktail dates to at least the Savoy cocktail book, and probably before that. The Savoy recipe omits the bitters, and has a 3:1 ratio of chartreuse to gin. As written, it’s a fine drink, but I find going 4:1 makes a less sweet and more enjoyable drink, and adding orange bitters creates a nice balancing note. On occasion I will also use a lemon twist as a garnish, but really, with the chartreuse, the drink doesn’t need it.
This is a potent drink, as yellow chartreuse is 80 proof. Occasionally, I will substitute green chartreuse, which is OK, but as with the Widow’s Kiss, yellow provides a much more balanced and drinkable product.
Thanks to Dennis at Rock & Rye for a fun topic. Be sure to keep an eye out for the round-up!