Stop the presses! You’ll need one of these to survive election season
The political news lately has been . . . interesting. So let’s raise a glass to the journalists who insist on bringing it to us.
Journalists are reputed to be hard-living, hard-drinking folks – with a particular fondness for gin. So this drink is a fitting honor for them. And it has enough clout to soothe our nerves during the closing days of this presidential campaign.
So mix up a batch and remind yourself that the election will soon be over. Then no news will be good news.
Recipe: The Journalist Cocktail
The Journalist – also known as The Periodista (Spanish for journalist) – is essentially a “perfect” Martini with extras. “Perfect” in cocktail parlance means that a drink contains equal quantities of both sweet and dry vermouth.
No one is sure when or where The Journalist was created. But we know it dates back at least to the 1930s. The recipe first appeared in print in Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book. The original recipe calls for about half the amount of vermouth that we use (we think the flavor is much smoother with more vermouth).
This recipe serves 1, and takes about 5 minutes to prepare.
- 2 ounces dry gin
- ½ ounce dry vermouth
- ½ ounce sweet vermouth
- ¼ teaspoon Grand Marnier (may substitute curaçao – see Notes)
- ¼ teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- lemon twist for garnish (optional)
- Add all ingredients (except garnish) to a mixing glass half-filled with ice. Using a long-handled spoon, stir until the contents are well chilled – about 30 seconds.
- Strain into a cocktail glass, preferably one that’s been chilled. Garnish with a lemon twist, if you wish, and serve.
- Why stir rather than shake this drink? Because the ingredients are (mostly) clear. Shaking introduces small bubbles, which can make a drink cloudy. (The picture immediately above shows a shaken "cloudy" version.) If some of the ingredients are opaque, no worries – shake away because the drink will be cloudy anyway.
- Of course, lemon juice is opaque, so you’d generally shake a drink that contains it. But we don’t in this case because the quantity is so small.
- We like the flavor of Grand Marnier in this drink. You can substitute “generic” curaçao if you prefer, but the flavor won’t be as good, in our opinion. BTW, we discuss curaçao and triple sec (another orange-flavored liqueur) in more detail in our post on Cocktail Basics.
- When a cocktail recipe specifies gin, it’s usually understood to mean dry gin. “London” dry gin is the most common style (it originally was distilled in London), but there are other styles of dry gin that are fairly similar (Plymouth gin, for example). We like to use the Beefeater brand in cocktails, but any good name brand will work.
- Dry (white) vermouth is also called French vermouth. Sweet (red) vermouth is sometimes called Italian vermouth. For both, we like the Martini & Rossi brand. We’re also partial to Noilly Prat dry vermouth.
- Vermouth has a relatively low alcohol quotient. So once it’s opened, it will start to oxidize. We store opened bottles in the refrigerator to extend their life.
- Our usual reminder: We’re noncommercial and don’t receive compensation for mentioning brands. We recommend only what we like and buy with our own money.
“Mmm,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “I need this drink – for medicinal purposes. Rampant election fever, you know.”
“Yeah, this campaign is like a car wreck,” I said. “You don’t want to look, but just can’t help yourself.”
“New polls by the hour,” said Mrs K R. “Usually conflicting. My head is spinning. and I haven’t even finished my first drink.”
“Margins of error. Firewall states. Early-morning tweets,” I said. “We need another round of these soothers to cope with it all.”
“Yup,” said Mrs K R, draining her glass. “Time to vote with our elbows.”
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What a sexy looking cocktail! Love the glasses in the pic!
Thanks for sharing
Hi Julie, doesn't this look nice? Wonderful flavor, too! Thanks for the comment.
Great looking cocktail, John....I'll set up a big pitcher of this :)
How interesting! Have never heard about this cocktail but its name makes perfect sense due to its balanced content.
I think I'll need a bucket of those and I'm not even American. The flavours and colours in this cocktail will brighten any day made dreary by election news. On the plus side, the Blue Jays won last night and may well be on their way to winning the World Series! Fingers and toes crossed, and a few of these beauties won't hurt either.
Hi Pat, you'll need a big pitcher of these. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Denise, yup, it is a balanced drink. Hadn't thought that way about it! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Eva, I'll bet one could sell these by the gallon! Good luck with the Blue Jays. And thanks for the comment.
I once wanted to be a journalist until I realized the cutthroat nature of the industry. Now I'll just stick to the cocktail!
Still early morning here, but I already feel that I need one of this cocktail...looks great John!
Hope you are having a wonderful week :)
Hi Laura, being a journalist is tough. Good decision just to drinking one of these. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Juliana, one of these will perk you up! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Yum!! Maybe I'll make these beauties on election night. What a crazy year in politics this has been! UGH.
Hi Pam, this would be a good election eve drink! Although we may have a different one planned. :-) Thanks for the comment.
No wonder I never made it as a real journalist -- I don't like gin! But maybe the Grand Marnier would coax me into it. Whatever the drink, we all need a lot of them this year. Imagine what we miht be drinking this time next year!?!
A cocktail is a great idea to get us through this election season! I tried to watch the VP debate last night, but there was so much craziness and confusion I went back to reading my book. A cocktail would have been a better idea!
Hi Rosemary, yup, this election season definitely calls for strong drink. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Deb, one of these would have been a much better idea! :-) Thanks for the comment.
So the next time I get writer's block, I just need to have a few of these, right?;)
At this election we need more than one of these good looking drinks. Prost!
Can't wait for this election nightmare to be over. This will definitely help. and stirred it will be. Still have a headache from the VP debate !!
Hi Carolyn, I doubt if a few of these will improve your writing, but guaranteed after several you won't care as much. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Gerlinde, true, true. Might be the only thing we've heard that's true! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Ansh, take 2 of these and you'll feel better in the morning. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I married a journalist - some 31 years ago :) He never has been one for drinking but that's okay! I like it and can't wait to try this beautiful drink. He also doesn't do the "news" anymore but is still in media relations. Thank goodness because I would hate to hear (or have to read) the mess these days. Such a crazy bunch for sure (journalists and candidates)
Hi Tricia, yup, not all journalists are big drinkers, of course. And yeah, this is such a crazy time, isn't it? Thanks for the comment.
I think I need more than one or 2 servings of these delightful little beverages to deal with the election woes, how about we make a pitcher of them? LOL I love your political football antics with Mrs. Riff, always a good chuckle. Sharing!
Hi Bobbi, one pitcher coming up! Or should we make that two? :-) Thanks for the comment.
Wow, that's a beauty, John. I reckon I could down a few of those, particularly after watching your two candidates duelling... I thought politics were bad here, but Clinton and Trump really take the cake!
Hi Liz, alas, this election isn't one of our more glorious ones. Quite the opposite, actually. :-( Thanks for the comment.
What an appropriate cocktail for the times. Maybe if I drink a few of those I'll become numb to the "stuff" of this election. :) Actually, this is a very interesting drink. The combination of both dry and sweet vermouth has me curious and I love the Grand Marnier, but then who wouldn't. Awesome cocktail John!
Hi MJ, this is a great tasting drink! Terrific flavor. And yeah, that "stuff" get old, doesn't it? Thanks for the comment.
Another gorgeous cocktail. Looks amazing. Thank you so much for sharing!
Who would have thought cocktails could have so much history? I always learn something new and fun here :)
You are so right - I just can't switch to CNN nowadays because there is nothing on it other than heated election dicussions amongst commentators. For that, I think i'll need at least two of these journalist cocktail! Thanks for sharing.
Hi Kushi, it IS amazing. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Chris, cocktails are so interesting, aren't they? So much to learn. And sample. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Yi, yup, the news is becoming a 2-Journalist minimum. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Anything with gin in is fine by me, this sounds delicious!
These journalists definitely deserve a drink! Another delicious drink you've served up here. I need you to come bartend for me sometime ;-)
You make the best cocktails in the blogsphere and what gorgeous photos!! I love the lighting.
Hi Caroline, gin is good stuff, isn't it? We like it a lot too! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Amy, have shaker, will travel. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Angie, thanks so much for that very kind comment!
I will only be TOO ready for this election coverage to be done! Serve me up all the cocktails until then (I could definitely use one or three of these)
Gorgeous looking drink John, this election is driving us all to a drink or two.
I have Rampant election fever too. So may I have one too (I mean two). GREG
PS That's what a failed pun attempt looks like...
Hi Ala, I'd say 3 is a nice prime number. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Cheri, it definitely is, isn't it? But this will help! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Greg, LOL! Most of our pun attempts are a fail. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Now this is one good looking drink! I think I need a few of these next and I watch anything political on TV. Ha ha.
Hi Ashley, good idea! Best antidote to politics there is. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This cocktail looks particular nice. Love that color!
This looks really nice! Happy Friday to you ♥
Hi Frank, isn't the color neat? And the flavor is excellent! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Summer, it is nice! And perfect for Friday. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hahaha - I so enjoy the banter between you and Mrs KR at the end of your posts! Yes I think a lot of us have a case of "rampant election fever" and I'll drink to it being just like a car wreck that you can look away from! Thanks for introducing me to the story behind this. Fun Post!
Hi Shashi, the election will soon be over. And in the meantime, we have this. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I would become a journalist just to enjoy this cocktail everyday! But not one in politics! We need a drink too outside the US lol. it is almost over right? I did not know about the 'perfect' theory for martinis.
Hi Evelyne, just another few weeks and it'll be over. Plenty of time for several of these. They'll be much needed! Thanks for the comment.
This is my kind of drink, love gin and vermouth too! It sounds great and just the cure after listening to all the politicians. But then I might need a couple or more, to get through Game 1 with the Cubs tonight too!!! Have a fun weekend!
Hi Pam, gin and vermouth blend so well together, don't they? And good luck on tonight's game! Thanks for the comment.
I think a pitcher of these may be in order to get through the next month!! Another gorgeous cocktail!
Interesting drink for a very interesting season :).
Hi Liz, I think there's been a run on pitchers at all the kitchenware stores. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Amira, isn't there an old Chinese curse about living in interesting times? :-) Thanks for the comment.
No question that all the journalists covering this insane presidential race need many, many strong cocktails!
Hi Alyssa, we all need many strong cocktails given this race. Keeps getting even weirder! Thanks for the comment.
You mean there are still journalists around? I thought they were opinion makers. Pass me a drink!
Hi Abbe, one drink, coming up! :-) Thanks for the comment.
I've never had a drink made with two kinds of vermouth. Could you make it work with only one type in a pinch?
Hi Jeff, you probably could make it work with just one kind of vermouth, but I'd be inclined just to make a different drink in that case. Thanks for the comment.
so interesting. I don't know how you come up with all these cool recipes. This may be too strong for me, but love the addition of Grand Marnier. :-)
Hi Nisha, research. Fun research. :-) Thanks for the comment.
What a delightful looking cocktail. Looks so tart, bright and refreshing
Hi Rahul, this is a good one isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.
With the political atmosphere there in the states I really need a lot of this!
Ha ha! And the news changes every day. It's hard to keep up with it - and like you, I just can't look away.
Hi Raymund, yup. And we needed one -- or two! of these for last night's debate! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Beth, just impossible not to look, isn't it? But one of these helps! Thanks for the comment.
Oh my gosh after the debate last night and the postmortems on the web, I need one or two of these this morning. This looks like something I need to mix up.
Hi Karen, that was remarkable, wasn't it? Never thought I'd see that, hope to never see it again. :-( Thanks for the comment.
Woah! I am loving the name of this cocktail. This journalist cocktail is making me dream about Friday already. So bright and refreshing and intriguing.
Hi Anu, this is definitely a good Friday drink -- loads of flavor, and very satisfying. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love the color of this cocktail. Sounds delicious!
Hi Dawn, it's a good drink! Loads of flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.
All the cocktail pics in your blog are looking great that it has a professional photographic touch.
Hi Smitha, you're too kind! Thanks for the comment.
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