Yes, folks, raise a glass - today is World Cocktail Day, the culmination, as it were, of World Cocktail Week.
It's a bit early for me to be having that cocktail, and I prefer to wait for Significant Eater since I don't really like to drink alone - well, unless I have to.
So, what'll it be? An Aviation perhaps, with that great funky sweet and sour hit of Maraschino and lemon? Maybe a nice, tart Daiquiri or Margarita, all limey and tropical? How about the bitter side and my favorite, Campari. A good Negroni is one of the world's great cocktails, with lots of permutations depending on what gin and/or vermouth you're using. I like Beefeater or Plymouth for my gin, and Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth for my, well, sweet vermouth.
My recipe for a good Negroni goes something like this. Take a double old-fashioned glass and fill it with ice. Add equal parts of gin, sweet vermouth, Campari. Perhaps a few drops of orange bitters. Garnish with a good hunk of orange peel. If you want to fancy it up, stir it up in a mixing glass with lots of cracked ice and strain into chilled cocktail glasses - go crazy and ignite the orange peel in front of everyone - if you can...
I digress. If you want something with brown spirits, how about a Manhattan? I've talked about those before. Or a Mint Julep? If I had mint growing in my backyard, I'd be thinking about that. Sazeracs are good, aren't they? The list goes on and on.
But, after giving it some thought, I think SE and I will be raising our glasses with that classic of classics, the Martini. But taking the Martini one step further - into a drink called the Fitty-Fitty, which we first sampled at NYC's Pegu Club. It's just like it sounds; 50 - 50 or half gin, half dry vermouth. Tanqueray, Plymouth or Beefeater all work. Please have something at least as good as Noilly Prat for your dry vermouth (it's makes up half your drink), and if it's more than a month or two old, or out of the refrigerator for a while, throw it out because it will just ruin your drink. Buy some Dolin or Vya and see what they do for a cocktail. A dash or two of orange bitters (I actually like 3 or 4) makes it sing. Stir, stir, stir some more over lots of cracked ice and then strain into an icy cocktail glass. Lemon twist is the garnish for the 50-50, but a Martini can take an olive instead, if you like.
Happy World Cocktail Day!