Algonquin

Difford's Guide
Discerning Drinkers (114 ratings)

Serve in a

Coupe glass

Photographed in a

Speakeasy Coupe 8.5oz

Garnish:

Pineapple wedge & Luxardo Maraschino cherry

How to make:

SHAKE all ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.

1 1/2 fl oz Straight rye whiskey (100 proof / 50% alc./vol.)
1/2 fl oz Strucchi Dry Vermouth
1/4 fl oz Strucchi Bianco Vermouth
3/4 fl oz Pineapple juice (freshly extracted/pressed/squeezed)
2 dash Peychaud's or other Creole-style bitters
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Review:

Classically made with 2 parts whiskey, 1 part dry vermouth, and 1 part pineapple juice, this vintage cocktail is opened and improved by splitting the vermouth to include some bianco vermouth. Creole-style bitters are a must, traditionally one dash but better with two.

Variant:

Consider serving on-the-rocks rather than straight-up.

In his 2009 Vintage spirits And Forgotten Cocktails, Ted Haigh says, "Add a couple dashes of peach bitters and this becomes a Queen Ann."

Some, with an adversity to a foamy head, prefer to stir this cocktail.

There is also a very different, Algonquin cocktail in Ted Saucier's 1951 Bottom's Up; and an Algonquin Special in Crosby Gaige's 1941 Cocktail Guide And Ladies' Companion.

History:

Adapted from a recipe in G. Selmer Fougner's 1935 Along The Wine Trail : an anthology of wines and spirits, this is one of several 1930s classics attributed to New York City's Algonquin Hotel.

NEW ALGONQUIN
Two parts Rye
One part French Vermouth
One part pineapple juice.

G. Selmer Fougner, 1935

Fougner's recipe is repeated in Stanley M. Jones' 1977 Jones' Complete Barguide:

ALGONQUIN
Cocktail Glass
Shake/Build
1-1/2 oz rye
3/4 oz dry vermouth
3/4 oz pineapple juice

Stanley M. Jones, 1977

Ted "Dr. Cocktail" Haigh's features the Algonquin in his 2004 Vintage Spirits And Forgotten Cocktails and he also contributed illustrations to his friend, Gary "gaz" Regan's 2003 book The Joy Of Mixology. Gary repeats Fougner's spec saying, "This is one of those recipes that calls for precision pouring lest the drink get out of balance. The recipe I chose to use was devised by Ted Haigh – Dr. Cocktail himself."

However, while Dr. Cocktail and Jones stipulate to shake, Gary instructs to "STIR AND STRAIN into a chilled cocktail glass." Did Gary make a mistake or did he intend for the Algonquin to be stirred rather than shaken? Sadly, I didn't know to ask him while I had the chance. Either way, many bartenders were and are influenced by this instruction and consequently believe the Algonquin should be stirred. I'm not one!

Cas Oh's excellent 2020 book Co-Specs repeats the classic recipe but follows Gary's instruction to "Stir and strain into a cocktail glass, noting, "The Algonquin is usually stirred though it can also be shaken, which produces a drink with a foamy head."

Gary, I wish so much you were still around so I could argue the case to shake Algonquins, while drinking Algonquins.

Nutrition:

One serving of Algonquin contains 138 calories.

Alcohol content:

  • 1.5 standard drinks
  • 23.72% alc./vol. (47.44° proof)
  • 21.5 grams of pure alcohol
Difford's Guide remains free-to-use thanks to the support of the brands in green above. Values stated for alcohol and calorie content, and number of drinks an ingredient makes should be considered approximate.

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Difford’s Guide to Cocktails Book 17th Edition image

Difford’s Guide to Cocktails Book 17th Edition

Perhaps the world's biggest cocktail book! Certainly, our biggest yet, 624 pages, 6cm (2.3inch) thick and weighing 2.25kg (5lb). Our Seventeenth Edition

Buy it here
Easy Jigger image

Easy Jigger

The Easy Jigger® is a measure designed for use when making cocktails, primarily in the home but also by professional bartenders. It has a unique design

Buy it here
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