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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