Marguerite – Recipe from the ‘Old Waldorf Bar Guide’

Dash of Orange Bitters

One-half French Vermuth

One-half Plymouth Gin

Today at 07:40 my daughter Margot was born.

For the next three nights I’ll be firmly ensconced inside Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, a quick 50m walk away from work / a cocktail bar.

I was hoping for a Margot cocktail, I guess its still to come, or a project for 2019? This was the closest, not because I desperately wanted my daughters middle name to be Rita (this got a no, with threats of physical harm) but because it sounds closest and is far classier than a Margarita.

The Marguerite cocktail goes back a bit, first appearing in print in 1896, and then in 1904 before it became a little more popular. It was probably the precursor to a modern Martini and was one of the first of its type to switch from sweet red vermouth to a dryer white, and get us all used to what a dry martini should look like.

From its inception in 1896 it was always made with Plymouth gin, a dryer alternative to the other main gin of the era, Old Tom, and its nice to see that 35 odd years after the recipe in a different book still specifies the Plymouth brand, or gin from Plymouth.

Plymouth Gin is the only gin that is area specific, unlike London Dry which can be made anywhere, although this is something the taskmasters at Pernod Ricard are trying to change.

As it’s the only current Plymouth Gin, and is called Plymouth Gin it’s a little susceptible to a competitor, as currently anyone else could set up a distillery in Plymouth and put ‘Plymouth Gin’ across the label, something unsurprisingly Pernod Ricard is keen to avoid, so I suspect this rule will be changed in the absence of a competitor rather swiftly.

I like this a gin as it uses Cardamom, which is one of my favourite spices as it reminds me of drinking tea from a Chai Wallah while crossing the border from Nepal to India at 7am one morning with a backpack on my back a long long long time ago. I truly hope Margot gets up to similar antics when she’s older and graduated to a black belt in jujitsu.