Ginuary 6th: Bronx.

Today I decided to begin the process of easing myself into the martini. I’m a big fan of the pre-prohibition cocktails, so I travelled back in time to… the Bronx.

Bronx

  • 45ml gin
  • 15ml dry vermouth
  • 15ml sweet vermouth
  • 30ml orange juice
  • couple of dashes of orange bitters

 

Pour all ingredients into a shaker, add ice and give it a good one. Strain (double strain if you’re using fresh juice) into a martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

 

FROM DA BRONX

I love how many of the older cocktails have contesting creation stories. The Bronx story that seems to have the most gumption is that of Johnnie Solon, a bartender at the Waldorf-Astoria who named the cocktail after the Bronx Zoo and its crazy animals. Some dude gave him an on-the-spot challenge along the lines of “I’M BORED, MAKE ME SOMETHING DELICIOUS THAT HASN’T EXISTED BEFORE!” and he followed through. Look, the story says that the cocktail was named because the bartender was thinking about all the crazy animals that drunk people would tell him about seeing, but clearly the dude demanding the new cocktail was what got him thinking about those animals. SETTLE DOWN, SON!

I am super tired today. My own fault – I didn’t go to bed until 3am, for absolutely no good or fun reason. I think my reason was “the internet”. I didn’t give much thought to today’s choice apart from “please let it be easy”.

don't be fooled by the rocks that I got

The line up.

I pulled out the Tanqueray for this one, and decided to use the more modest suggestion of 1.5oz gin for the recipe, instead of the alternative – 2oz. I reckon I made the right choice, because the Tanq was export strength. The best part about having a party at your house is the leftover alcohol. I believe this bottle was brought over on new year’s eve by my friend Kathleen. She grabbed a huge bottle last time she came home from overseas. I love you, duty free! Thank you, Kathleen!

so tired I spilled half of this all over the kitchen floor

This juicer is incredible. SUCH A SIMPLE TOOL.

I think that using fresh fruit for juices is important. The only downside is that the flavour can vary strongly from fruit to fruit, so it’s pretty important to sample a bit of the juice before you use it. Guys, I’m gonna be honest. I didn’t sample the juice. I only think of these clever and important things to include after I make my cocktails. Why? Why am I like this!? At least I remembered to double-strain, I guess.

I saw a bottle of Antica today at a boutique and I almost cried

Just the orange bits left to chuck in.

I haven’t actually tried a martini for years. I’m nervous about it, because I have high hopes that my palate has matured a bit since I last tried one (and hated it). What if it hasn’t, though? I think that’s why I decided to go with the Bronx tonight, instead of the Martini. No regrets.

Orange BOOM

Nice timing, really.

Here’s my new baby! I went on a bit of an expedition this afternoon after work to try to lock down the last few bits and pieces I wanted in my collection for Ginuary. Unfortunately one of the bottles I really want is AU$60, another is AU$48… ah, to be a millionaire – or just a lot more carefree with my money than I am (and to be honest, it’s already a lot more carefree than a lot of people I know).

BUT – this guy here is a bottle of Fee Brothers Orange Bitters. Radical. I wasn’t even specifically looking for this today, it just happened to be at one of the places I stopped in at while looking for the other things. The day I’d already decided to make a Bronx. FATE. (I don’t really believe in fate.)

FROSTY FRUIT

Chilled glass, with bonus fingerprints.

I chill my glasses by rinsing them and then sticking them in the freezer for a bit. Good or bad? Frosty, anyway. I twisted up a nice bit of orange rind from the orange I’d earlier squeezed the life out of. I positioned it nicely resting on the edge of the glass and then it decided to go for a swim. Never mind.

And finally, tasting verdict: not my favourite, but not horrible. Definitely a kick in the head, and the export strength probably helped out there. I think I freaked myself out over the vermouth. Next time I get the vermouth out, I need to just calm the fuck down and roll with the homies.

Wikipedia’s Bronx article kind of suggests that it was the Bronx cocktail that led the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous to become an alcoholic (before he founded AA, durfreds). Now, that’s beautiful.

I also need to remember to have dinner before I get around to making and drinking my gin each evening. That’s all I’ll say this evening. Now I’m going to have a piece of leftover birthday cake, because gin. Gin and weekend. Everything’s coming up Ginuary.