Friday, September 16, 2016

Hotel Plaza Cocktail

Simple, elegant, rich: the Hotel Plaza Cocktail is a throwback to times when people really loved vermouth but wanted to drink something a little stronger than fortified wine. It is also one of those cocktails that rely on the quality of the ingredients to pass muster. I believe that one of the reasons why people dislike vermouth--and the diminution of vermouth from Martinis can be taken for evidence of this--is because we've grown accustomed to bad vermouth. This is the equivalent of some duffer in the '80s saying he doesn't like wine when the only wine he can get easily is cheap, sweet rose like Riunite d'Oro. But the truth is that quality vermouth has only very recently been available, so you can't blame today's Martini drinkers.

With Antica Formula for the sweet vermouth and Mancino dry vermouth, this drink was subtly spicy and very rounded. There's almost no juniper from the 1/3 part of gin. I get the feeling that it matters little what gin you use, but gin was the main white spirit of the time when this drink was popular, so there it is.
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1 oz. gin
  • maraschino cherry (Omit for simpler Plaza Cocktail)
Combine liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the cherry.

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