Swan – Recipe from the ‘Old Waldorf Bar Guide’

Juice of one Lime 

One-half jigger Swan Gin 

One-half jigger French Vermuth 

Two dashes Angostura Bitters 

Two dashes Absinthe 

Serve well iced

It’s a little unusual to see brands called in the Waldorf guide, Swan gin does make a couple of appearances though. The only reference I can find to Swan gin was this image of a vintage bottle lurking on E-Bay, it’s not a brand around today (although there is a Cygnet Gin) and I can’t find any reference to it. Looking at the bottle its strange how marketing changes over the years, we’re at a point in time where everyone wants craft distiller’s vs factories, Swan gin proudly states “another quality product of the world’s largest distillery”. I suspect Swan paid money for the listing, bartenders almost always prefer the underdog, but we’re also more than willing to embrace the ‘commercial’ side to brands ‘development’. For a modern swan gin, I used Sipsmith, because it has a Swan on the label, in reference to the ‘Swans Neck’ stills they use to make their wonderful juice.

I also moved away from there ‘serve well iced’ direction and made this straight up as a shaken martini and it was really quite nice, it would work better with a Bianco vermouth instead of the extra dry I used, it needs a little more sweetness than the Dolin bought to balance the citrus, and bring out the flavours of the bitters and absinthe, the Hong Kong from a couple of days ago is essentially the same drink, only with some added sugar, and no absinthe, I think my ideal is a blend of these two drinks.

It’s ok, but not something I’d rush back to.