The New Killer Cocktail

Darcy O'Neil :: June 13, 2006 7:41 PM
Killer CocktailAfter giving the Killer Koolaid cocktail some more thought, I decided that if the definition of a classic cocktail is proportions, vermouth and bitters, than why not make a new cocktail that fits the classic cocktail description and base it on the Killer Koolaid. At the very least, this would test the theory of whether “bitters make things better,” kind of like “everything is better with butter.”  For the proportions, I’m not sure I can use the: 1 part sour to 2 parts sweet, 3 parts strong to 4 parts weak ratio, but it will be close.  If I were to jump back in time and work with ingredients available, in let’s say 1912, then we would only have specific ingredients available for mixing. For example melon liqueur, or Midori wouldn’t have been available since it was created in 1978. So melon liqueur is out. Vodka wouldn’t have been that popular at the time, maybe in eastern Europe, but not North America, so vodka is out. Amaretto has been made since 1525, so it’s still in. Cranberries are still in since they’ve been around for a long time, plus without them this wouldn’t be a Killer Koolaid style drink. 

To make this drink a “classic” we will need to add vermouth and bitters. To start we will use dry vermouth since I think it will compliment the cranberry juice better. Next we need bitters, and since orange bitter were all the rage in the cocktail golden age, Regans’ Orange Bitters No. 6 are in order. However, I’m tempted to try Peychaud’s bitters just because the bottles I have are only used in Sazerac’s. A second cocktail would be nice to use them in.

The last thing we need to do is substitute something for the vodka. Gin might work. What might work nicely though is a nice smooth whisky, like Canadian rye whisky. For now I’ll sub in Alberta Premium 100% rye whisky for the vodka and give gin (Plymouth) a shot.

Classic Test #1

1 oz Canadian Rye
½ oz Amaretto
½ oz Dry Vermouth
2 oz Cranberry Juice
2 Dash Orange Bitters
Squeeze Lime

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain over fresh ice into a highball glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Classic Test #2

1 oz Plymouth Gin
½ oz Amaretto
½ oz Dry Vermouth
2 oz Cranberry Juice
2 Dashes Peychaud Bitters
Squeeze Lime

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain over fresh ice into a highball glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

After tasting them, I think the gin and Peychaud bitters version is the winner. Very refreshing and drinkable, especially if you like gin. The rye version doesn’t seem to compliment the cranberry very well, but the rye does come through very nicely. Also, since it’s a summer time cocktail, the gin seems more appropriate.

The last step is to designate a name for this new creation. As a unbreakable rule, I will never append a #2 or #3 to the end of a cocktail name that is already in existence, it just creates confusion. So what name should it be? Well I’m preferential, at the moment, to the Killer Cocktail, but there seems to be a lot of Killer type cocktails. So maybe I’ll call it the Killer Classic.

Fix the Pumps
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