Barnum

Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Barnum Martini

Koala CropSo, to be fair, I was supposed to have the Absolute Martini this evening, the first one in the book.  I actually had it Tuesday night. Except I didn’t have fresh lemon juice.  I made it with the lemon juice that was in one of those plastic thingies that was in my fridge door.  Perhaps that was the problem.  The Absolute called for 5 parts vodka, 1 part triple sec, 2 parts fresh lemon juice, 1 dash orange bitters.  I also didn’t have orange bitters.  I had Angostura Bitters, so I used those.  All in all, “Quaffable.  But, uh, far from transcendent.” (to quote Miles from Sideways).  So I will have to give it a fair shot and remake it properly another time, when I have the right ingredients.

This afternoon I went to BevMo to stock up on supplies for future drinks in the book and figured I must have made the record for strangest combination of purchases in one shot.  Calvados, apricot brandy, Pernod, Noilly Prat dry vermouth (I have Martini & Rossi, but what the heck, let’s try something drier), Dubonnet Rough, white Crème de Cacao, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, more Ketel One, and blood orange bitters.  And I thought I had a pretty well-stocked liquor cabinet!  Apparently not. 

Sooo, tonight, I was supposed to have the Alternatini (vodka, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, white crème de cacao, cocoa power rim, Hershey’s® Kiss garnish). 

I skipped ahead and had the Barnum martini.  Just not in the mood for a sweet one tonight.  Well, that and I hadn’t had dinner yet.  Sweet martinis generally work better for me as a dessert.  The Barnum is 6 parts gin, 1 part apricot brandy, 3 to 5 dashes of Angostura bitters and 3 to 5 dashes of lemon juice.  I’ve never been clear on the concept of a “dash”, since to me it all depends on the top of the container.  If I’d used the plastic lemon juice bottle, it’s a squirt, and a squirt can be quite lengthy depending on the strength of your fingers.  The bitters bottle has a top with a rectangular slit in it, which makes it easier to do a “dash”, I suppose, unless it spits across your countertop and stains it, which makes me rather irritated.  Plus I decided to use fresh lemon juice, so I squeezed some out of the sorry half of a lemon I found in the vegetable bin in the fridge and figured three or four squeezes was enough, plus I didn’t want to get seeds or pulp into my dash, that would be unforgivable.  The rest of the lemon came in handy for freshening up the garbage disposal. 

I’m not as particular about my gin as I am about vodka.  I have Quintessential (Q) in the fridge and a bottle of New Amsterdam, because someone recommended both to me at one time or another.  I like Hendrick’s and Junipero but both are pricier than I’d like (yes, I spend that much on a bottle of vodka, but I like vodka more, so it’s justifiable).  I used the Q gin. 

The Barnum made for a very tasty drink.  Smooth, slightly sweet, a hint of sour, easy to drink and went down well with a Lean Cuisine chicken club sandwich (okay, I’m not the Galloping Gourmet, all right?).  I would try it again.  If giving these a 5 star rating, I’d give it a respectable 4.

– Cathy

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~ by rachelroust on October 23, 2009.

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