A cocktail quite similar to the Toronto (15-01-2018) except that it employs Amer Picon in place of Fernet-Branca is the

New Deal – David Embury

1 part Sugar Syrup

2 parts Amer Picon

6 parts Whisky

This cocktail may be made in old fashioned glasses or may be stirred with large cubes of ice and strained into cocktail glasses. In either case, decorate with a twist of orange peel.

One thing I’m learning to love about Embury is the way he organises the drinks throughout the book, grouping them together based on their respective ‘root’ drink, and with all the permutations next to each other, this is from ‘Whisky Cocktails of the Aromatic Type’. It does mean lots of flipping to the index at the back to search for things as they’re not alphabetical, but it means finding a drink you’ll like, a lot easier. I find I can choose drinks based on mood and desire so much easier, than say the Waldorf which is a simple A-Z. Jerry Thomas groups styles of drinks, but not flavours. This separation in design isn’t something I’d ever really noticed before. It’s simple and genius. The only thing that worries me about this is that I’ll know when I’ve run out of a style of drink I like, which will be a sad moment, followed by lots of frantic searching through the Waldorf.

One lesson I’ve learned from my project so far is that cocktails are best consumed before other drinks, it becomes unrealistic to have my cocktail as a third, fourth or fifth, let alone a nightcap. Today we had a small wine tasting at Goat, we’re looking at making all the wines in the Chelsea Prayer Room different to the rest of the building, to create another point of difference. It will also give us an opportunity to trial new wines in a small controlled environment before unleashing them into the rest of the building. The tasting went well, I hate spitting wine at a tasting, I find you never get the full picture of what a wine is like unless you swallow a little. I tend to do tastings at break neck speed, I find this the best way to establish a point of difference between wines, if I linger I can forget. by the end though I was really glad I tried the ‘New Deal’ prior, as after was the end of drinking for the day.

I really liked the Toronto, and hoped this would be the same but it was just too sweet. In the Toronto the Fernet Branca carries a lot of bitter with alcohol to keep this in the palate longer, which balance’s the sugar. In the New Deal, as the Picon is a lower ABV it doesn’t carry the same bitterness for the same length of time, and leaves the drink too sweet at the end. I tried it again with no sugar, and this also doesn’t work, there is a Goldilocks proportion of sugar somewhere in the middle, but that’s a project for another day.