Doc Savoy: The Income Tax

I took some time off from experimenting with mixed drinks over the holidays, because lord knows there were enough calories flowing unfettered into my mouth without making things worse with alcohol. Plus, people keep giving me whiskey (apparently my #gin brand is not strong enough); in a very short space of time, I went from owning three different whiskies (one bourbon, one scotch, one… rye — sorry, George Thorogood) to owning, um, 10. So I’ve been distracted with those, which I have been sampling neat.

But I’ve made a lot of positive new year’s resolutions; my negative resolution will be: To become a better mixologist in 2018.

So! Cat and I spent a few days in New York last summer, and on our last day there, we visited the Cooper Hewitt Museum of design. They had an original printing of the Savoy Cocktail Book on display there, which I found fascinating thanks to its weirdly archaic recipes and funky art deco design… so, out of the blue, she bought me a more recent printing to explore. I have found that many of the recipes in the Savoy book don’t really work for modern palates! I have also found that many are impossible to recreate, since some of the critical ingredients went out of production during Prohibition, never to return again. Oh well. Anyway, I have been trying these recipes on and off as the whim strikes, so that’s where we’ll start for 2018.

The Income Tax

I picked this one because I have to figure out how to deal with tax stuff for Retronauts, LLC this year. This process may destroy me, but at least I will die well-lubricated with liquor.

In essence, the Income Tax is a “perfect” Manhattan with gin, plus orange juice.

  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • The juice of 1/4 orange
  • 1/4 French (dry) vermouth
  • 1/4 Italian (sweet) vermouth
  • 1/2 dry gin
  • Shake well and strain into cocktail glass

Given the Manhattan-like nature of the drink, I decided to use St. George dry rye gin. I also went with Carpano Antica for the sweet vermouth, but I think that may have been a mistake; its inherent bitterness (unusually so for sweet vermouth) turns out not to play well with the acidity of the orange juice. The result isn’t quite a winner, though it’s certainly not bad. It just doesn’t feel perfectly balanced, which is probably on me for my choice of ingredients. It’s a little bitter, but not in the punch-you-in-the-face fashioned of a negroni. More like… slightly acrid. Well, live and learn.

Next up: I use this blog to write about something besides alcohol. I’ve probably given everyone the wrong idea about me, hence the whiskey pile-up.