Algonquin

Difford's Guide
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Serve in a

Coupe glass

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 Rye whiskey (100 proof / 50% alc./vol.)
3/4 fl oz Martini Bianco vermouth
3/4 fl oz Pineapple juice (fresh pressed)
1 dash Peychaud's or other Creole-style bitters (optional)
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Review:

Classically made with dry vermouth, this vintage cocktail is so much better with bianco vermouth – in which case, ripe pineapple fruitiness and rye whiskey spice sit harmoniously together with subtle Creole-style adding a delicious finishing touch.

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:

One of several classic cocktails attributed to New York City's Algonquin Hotel in the 1930s. However, its true origins are lost in time and, unless I'm missing the obvious, the earliest written reference I've been able to find is 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
"

This recipe is repeated in Ted "Dr. Cocktail" Haigh's 2004 Vintage Spirits And Forgotten Cocktails, including his instruction to "Shake in an iced cocktail shaker." Ted also contributed illustrations to his friend, Gary "gaz" Regan's 2003 book The Joy Of Mixology. Gary repeats Jone's recipe 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, 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 never thought 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!

Cascane Oh's 2020 book Co-Specs "The Algonquin" page says, "the first known print appearance seems to be from 1935: G. Selmer Fougner's Along The Wine Trail." However, as far as I can tell from the (4 volume) book's drinks index, checking all cocktails, not just those listed under "Cocktails (Whisky, Rye and Bourbon), this is not the case.

Cas repeats Jones' recipe but with Garry'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." Oh Gary, you were influential! I wish so much you were still around so I could argue the case to shake over Algonquins.

Nutrition:

There are approximately 144 calories in one serving of Algonquin.

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