Astoria – Recipe below from ‘Old Waldorf Bar Days
After the big annex to the old Waldorf, which at its opening, in 1897, became the main part of the establishment.
Two dashes Orange Bitters
One-third Tom Gin
Two-thirds French Vermuth
Naming drinks is tricky, I have a number of fall back plans. Puns can be fun, although if overdone can be tiresome. Paint colours are good, I always wonder whose job it is to come up with them, some are spectacular (Grape Jamboree anyone?), horse names can be good, but one of my favourites is street, or park names. When we first opened Goat we wanted it to have a New York / Italian feel, and when choosing cocktail names I did so with a map of Manhattan in front of me. I’m not sure where I found the name Astoria, it sounded great though, did a quick memory check (didn’t even Google) couldn’t think of a drink with this name and voila our Chamomile, passionfruit, peach bitters and vodka drink had a name.
Surprise, its already taken, I should’ve done some due diligence as stunningly the Waldorf Astoria used the name first.
Although looking at the recipe they’ve just taken the Martinez, precursor to the Martini, the most famous of famous drinks, and swapped bitters, and omitted a dash of sugar, and voila their house cocktail is born.
This makes me feel less bad, I can’t help but feel their crime is greater, stealing a name is almost homage to the original, stealing a recipe feels more like theft.
Regardless the drink is a great one, as we all knew it would be. I used Hayman’s Old Tom, and my only criticism would be I find it just too sweet, I think Angostura dries the drink out more, and I just find there isn’t enough balance without it. It still makes more an excellent sipping drink though so i’m far from disappointed.