Apollo's Cup Cocktail

Darcy O'Neil :: August 31, 2007 8:54 PM

Every once in a while I get a small case of writers block. Such is the case at the moment. But writing about cocktails isn't overly complicated because you can just pickup a cocktail book and write about whatever drink jumps out at you, or you can do a spirit review. But sometimes you go through a bunch of recipes and realize you need this, or you need that or possibly that doesn't exist and you need to make it from scratch. That seems to be the case tonight since it seems some of my mixer stock is depleted. Sometimes I'll just create a cocktail from scratch using whatever I have lying around, but even that seems like a stretch tonight. The solution to my problem is to write about a cocktail that was made for the Spirited Dinner in New Orleans, called the Apollo's Cup.

Keen bartenders will look at this recipe and possibly notice that it is similar to something called a “Pimm's Cheater'. Well, that is the basis of this drink. The idea was to create something Pimm’s Cup like, but better.

Apollo's Cup

1 oz Plymouth Gin
2/3 oz Sweet Vermouth (Red)
1/3 oz Dry Vermouth (White)
1/2 oz Cointreau
3 Dash Fee's Orange Bitters
Top Ginger Ale

Combine all ingredients, except ginger ale, in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass and top with ginger ale. Garnish with a strawberry and slice of cucumber.

So what makes this drink better than a modern Pimm's Cup, and why did he say "modern"? Well, first the amount of alcohol in a bottle of Pimm's has been steadily decreasing over time, so a Pimm's Cup made today won't have the kick it once did. Second, the perception is that the Pimm's formula has been modified, to appeal to the new, less bitter, more sugar, palate. So it is not the drink it once was.

What makes this drink taste better than a classic Pimm's Cup is that the balance of flavours are not covered up by sugar. Also, this cocktail is slightly more bitter because of the red and white vermouth and the bitters. The bitterness is subtle and make for a great thirst quencher.

Where does the name Apollo's Cup come from. Well, for the Spirited Dinner, Chef Chris DeBarr was looking at the life of Lafcadio Hearn and part of this man’s journey through life started in Greece.

Hopefully I'll have something more interesting to read in the next day or two.


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