This Memorial Day weekend was very wet. It seems to be like this every year. The rain drizzles down the windows, the clouds make a fortress against the sun, and a slight breeze whistles past the windows--just enough to bring goose bumps to your arms. With weather like this, Tracy and I curl up under a blanket and put in a movie. This is some riveting spring weather! Seattle is famous for having cold and wet Memorial Day weekends. The city empties as its residents flock to other locales in the hope of finding that faint glimmer of summer that is still months away. With our cats nearby, three red Netflix envelopes newly arrived in the mail, and blankets at the ready, we fortified ourselves with this classic cocktail from the 1920s, the Fin de Siècle.
For our third drink to highlight the newly made rhubarb syrup, we tried the Old New York Cocktail. It was on the 2009 summer menu at Barrio in Tucson, Arizona, and I stumbled on the recipe on the Chanticleer Society's website. There are several recipes there that use rhubarb, some calling for raw rhubarb that will be muddled, which sounds interesting. Unfortunately, and fortunately, I have this syrup to use up and will save those recipes for later.
Old New York Cocktail
1 1/2 ounces Bols genever
1 ounce dry vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 ounce rhubarb syrup
1 dash peach bitters
Shake ingredients in an ice-filled shaker
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a lime twist
The contrast of the vibrant green twist against the delicate pink creates a striking first impression. The lime oils dominate the aroma, though there is no mistaking the malty juniper of the genever. The ingredients of the cocktail as a whole smelled pleasantly of grapefruit. The initial taste was dominated by the peach bitters, which was not what I was expecting with the citrus aroma in my nose. This was a very pleasing surprise. The juniper of the genever creeps in soon after and provides a backdrop to the other flavors. A citrus-like flavor is also present, which we ascribed to the rhubarb, kind of tricking our mouths. The maltiness of the genever lingers, as well as the light flavor of the grapes of the vermouth. The finish was a little tart and dry in a very pleasing way. The drink had a nice sweetness to it, though it was not in any way cloying; the dry vermouth does a good job of balancing out the syrup. Tracy and I were both very enamored with this drink. It was tasty, balanced and well-crafted--by far our favorite of the rhubarb drinks.