Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Fourth Regiment Cocktail

Fourth Regiment Cocktail

This spicy Manhattan-lite is perfect for summer

We love us a Manhattan Cocktail. As traditionally made, though, it can be a bit heavy for warm weather.

But fear not. The Fourth Regiment is here to save us.

It has less whiskey and more sweet vermouth than a traditional Manhattan, so it’s less alcoholic. And it uses three different kinds of bitters, which gives it a spicy, aromatic flavor that pairs well with many summer foods. Like barbecue, for example.

Sometimes it pays to march to a different drummer.

Fourth Regiment Cocktail

Recipe: Fourth Regiment Cocktail

This is an old drink, dating back at least to 1889. But it’s been forgotten about in recent decades. That’s probably because one of its key ingredients – celery bitters – went out of production.

But good news! Celery bitters are available again in the US, so we can start making drinks (like the Fourth Regiment) that call for them.

We learned about this drink from Robert Hess, and we use his recipe. Our friend Greg Henry also has a nice version of this drink on his blog, Sippity Sup.

This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and serves 1.

Ingredients
  • 1 ounce rye or bourbon (we prefer rye, but bourbon is nice too)
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash celery bitters (Fee Brothers and Bitter Truth both make good ones)
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters (can substitute Angostura bitters)
  • lemon twist for garnish (optional)
Procedure
  1. Place all ingredients (except garnish) in a mixing glass half filled with ice. Stir briskly until well chilled.
  2. Strain into a cocktail glass (preferably one that’s been chilled). Garnish with a lemon twist, if you wish, and serve.
Fourth Regiment Cocktail

Notes
  • This drink is equally good served on the rocks in an Old Fashioned glass. And it’ll stay cold a bit longer – important in warm weather.
  • We generally stir (rather than shake) this drink because all the ingredients are clear. Shaking introduces small oxygen bubbles, which can make a drink cloudy. Cloudiness isn’t a problem when you mix a drink with opaque ingredients (like citrus, for example), so we generally shake those.
  • But shake this up if you want. We often do. That “different drummer” thing, you know.
  • We like to use rye in Manhattans (and their variants), but many people prefer bourbon. Use whichever you like – as long as it’s of good quality.
  • The ratio of sweet vermouth to whiskey (1:1) in this cocktail makes the drink a bit on the sweet side. So use good-quality sweet vermouth (any name brand will work).
  • Celery bitters make a fun ingredient, with a fragrance that reminds us more of dried celery than fresh – but in a good way. If your local liquor store doesn’t stock celery bitters, you can find them online. The two brands we know about are Bitter Truth and Fee Brothers. Both make good-quality stuff.
  • Angostura bitters aren’t traditional in this drink, but they make an interesting substitute for Peychaud’s.
Fourth Regiment Cocktail

Lost and Found

“Love the celery bitters in this drink,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Hard to believe they fell out of favor for so long.”

“And how could drinkers have forgotten this cocktail?” I said. “It’s perfect for summer.”

“I guess the blotto have short memories,” said Mrs K R. “So which Fourth Regiment was this named after?”

“Alas, no one knows,” I said. “The history of the cocktail has been lost.”

“Along with the drinkers’ watches and wallets, no doubt,” said Mrs K R.

“Guess we need to drink this more often,” I said. “To keep its memory alive.”

“And our memories?” said Mrs K R. “Not so much.”

Bitter truth, indeed.

You may also enjoy reading about:
Manhattan Cocktail
The Hern's Cocktail
Blackthorn Cocktail
The Brainstorm Cocktail
Fanciulli Cocktail
Or check out the index for more

68 comments:

Sippity Sup said...

This is a good one. I like the under the radar hint of savory notes that the celery bitters brings. Thanks for the shout out. GREG

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Greg, this is such a good cocktail, isn't it? I need to play with celery bitters -- SO good. Thanks for the comment.

laura dembowski said...

A sweeter drink can be very nice especially in this hot summer weather.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Laura, sweeter drinks ARE better in warm weather, aren't they? Thanks for the comment.

Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen said...

I love the sound of celery bitters! I've never tried them but they sound perfect in this!

Liz Berg said...

Wow, celery bitters? So intriguing---I'd definitely love glass to sip on!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Kelsie, they're really an interesting ingredient -- worth a try. Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Liz, celery bitters are wonderful! As is this drink. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Eva Taylor said...

Manhatten's aren't generally my thing but I'd love to try this with the celery bitters. It sure does look pretty in the glass; I'm a sucker for drinks served in martini glasses!
Happy Fourth to you and Mrs KR!

Marshall said...

I've had a bottle of celery bitters for about eight years and have never once used it. Time to bust it out tonight--I love Manhattans!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Eva, those glasses are irresistible, aren't they? Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Marshall, you'll love celery bitters in this! Really good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Evelyne CulturEatz said...

I am a big fan of playing with bitters, 3 is a whole lot of playing. I never new there was such a thing as celery bitters! Peychaud I adore! Looks like a great cocktail!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Evelyne, off the top of my head I don't recall another cocktail that requires 3 different bitters. Although I'm sure there's something out there -- sounds like a fun research project. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Tricia Buice said...

I can just see myself sipping this while watching the chicken cook on the grill. It sounds so refreshing!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Tricia, it is refreshing! Very enjoyable. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Deb|EastofEdenCooking said...

I'll be on the look out for celery bitters, what an intriguing flavor. A lighter cocktail for summer sounds divine!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Deb, celery bitters are fun! Gotta find other ways to use them. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Robyn Gleason said...

Oh, I'm loving this cocktail because I'm a big fan of a good Canadian rye whiskey and most people will tell you that it is a winter drink and can't be had in the summer.
Canadian rye whiskey is quite different than American rye or bourbon and you should try it sometime, John, if you haven't already. The best Canadian rye whiskey (in my opinion) is Wiser's Deluxe Canadian Whiskey. It's so smooth you can drink it on the rocks. You can usually find it at a specialty store. I so love this recipe and I'll be making it! I'll take photos too :)

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Robyn, I don't have a lot of experience with Canadian whiskey, but love any and all whiskey so I'm sure I'd love it! Gotta look for Wiser's. :-) Thanks for the comment.

mjskit said...

Celery bitters? That's a new one on me. Sounds like they are the highlight of this cocktail. Thanks for a light summer cocktail. Hope you had a great 4th!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi MJ, the celery bitters do add quite a bit -- amazing how much effect one dash of something can have! Thanks for the comment.

Anne@ASaladForAllSeasons said...

John, I am in awe of your cocktails. You should host a food blogger happy hour for real! I'm not familiar with celery bitters. But that's what I love about your drinks. I'm always learning something new. Your photos....stunning as usual! :)

Healthy World Cuisine said...

Thinking over ice is a great idea for this delicious drink and the heat of Asia.... Hoping your 4th was filled with fun.

Angie Schneider said...

Bitters made with celery? Now I am really intrigued! The cocktail looks so beautiful.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Anne, celery bitters aren't used enough! I'll have to find some other drinks that use them. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Bobbi, on-the-rocks definitely is a nice way to drink this -- makes it a bit more of a slow sipper that way. Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Angie, celery bitters are FUN! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Denise Browning said...

Hope you had a magnificent and yummy Fourth of July! Cheers to this and many awesome drinks of yours!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Denise, cheers! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Pam said...

It's been too long since I've had a Manhattan... I've never tried a Fourth Regiment but I think it sounds amazing.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Pam, Manhattan's are good, aren't they? The Fourth Regiment is really worth a try -- it has a somewhat unusual flavor. Thanks for the comment.

Chris Scheuer said...

Celery bitters? How interesting. You come up with the most fascinating cocktails!

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

Hi John, look like another wonderful drink, never heard of celery bitters before, sounds delicious!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Chris, research, research, research. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Cheri, it is! And celery bitters are a neat ingredient. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Debra Eliotseats said...

Can't wait to track down some celery bitters!

Juliana said...

I have never heard of celery bitter...sounds really delicious. I must look for it.
Thanks for the cocktail recipe John. I hope you are having a fabulous week :)

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Debra, enjoy! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Juliana, they're really neat! I knew about these and have had a bottle for a couple of years that I never opened -- until I made this drink. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Nisha - Honey, What's Cooking said...

This one would be strong for me, I would be drunk drinking half the cocktail. Your shots are beautiful, especially the black background

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Nisha, you might want to serve this on-the-rocks and sip it slowly. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Emma - Bake Then Eat said...

Celery bitters! I am definitely intrigued by that ingredient. I shall have to try and hunt it down in the UK. I'd love one of these cocktails.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Emma, celery bitters have such fun flavor! You'll love them in this drink. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Gerlinde de Broekert said...

I also have never heard of celery bitters. I love bitters and use them quite often. Your photo is fantastic.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Gerlinde, there are all sorts of bitters out there these days. Fun to play with! Thanks for the comment.

mymansbelly said...

I love a good summer cocktail and this one sounds perfect with all of the bbq we eat here in Texas!

Food Gal said...

I am intrigued by the celery bitters. I'm sure I've had it in a cocktail at a restaurant, but it would be fun to taste it on its own to see exactly what it tastes like. Something tells me it will be memorable. ;)

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Pamela, this is SO good with BBQ! Great combo. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Carolyn, straight bitters are always memorable! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Katerina said...

I have started drinking good old cocktails and reinventing them again! They bring so many good memories! This one looks perfect!

handmade by amalia said...

You can pour one for me right now. It's been that kind of day :-)
Amalia
xo

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Katerina, it's nice to have a cocktail now and again, isn't it? This is a good one! Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Amaila, mixing one right now! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Ritu Ahuja said...

Wow!! I'd definitely love glass of this wonderful drink to sip on :)

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Ritu, bet you'd enjoy it! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

I'd have no problem sipping one of these along side my BBQ! Looks like one tasty cocktail.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Amy, having one of these is a good reason to have BBQ! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Amira Ibrahim said...

Wow celery bitters, never heard of them before. Looks like a nice cocktail :).

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Amira, celery bitters are really fun! Nice flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Dawn Yucuis said...

I love your pictures they are beautiful as usual. I am with everyone else I have never heard of celery bitters. I would love to try this one.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Dawn, celery bitters are good! Playing with them now -- seeing what else we can use them in. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen said...

I hope your 4th July was fun, John. This cocktail looks so pretty and looks awesome. I am so intrigued by the name of this cocktail. Celery bitter is so new to me, I would have to look for this. How perfect this is for this summer time.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Anu, we love bitters in general, so it's fun to have celery ones to experiment with. Thanks for the comment.

Frank Fariello said...

Looks right up my alley. I love bitters although celery bitters are new to me. I'll have to try them out–definitely intrigued.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Frank, you'll enjoy the celery bitters! Really fun. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Jeff said...

I love a Manhattan. I'd be eager to try one of these.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Jeff, Manhattans are SO good, aren't they? Wonderful drink. As is this. :-) Thanks for the comment.