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Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Fogcutter – a cocktail to clear your head

A disturbance in the Twitter feed… Someone had mentioned the Fogcutter cocktail (a.k.a. Fog Cutter), a name that evoked memories of the past. The name implies a clearing of the head, but imbibers can attest that while the first one may clear things up, the fog may roll back in with the second Fogcutter. Research led to Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails where you can find a short discussion of the history of the Fogcutter (it originated at a bar in Hollywood), and where the idea of the Kirsch float (in lieu of Sherry) came from. This Tiki drink is served in a Collins glass, and while some Tikis may be sweet; this one, while definitely on the dry side, “sure ain’t bad”. So if your head is a little foggy tonight, you may be in need of a Fogcutter… Two of them certainly made a difference in my evening. Haigh mentions that the Fogcutter was a type of diving knife. Experience shows that the first one cuts through the fog, while the second one cuts through any remaining coherence.

The Fogcutter is a strong drink. If you use this recipe, you should definitely limit your intake. You can also cut back a little on the alcohol, while retaining the 2-1-1 ratio. The gin adds an interesting edge to this Tiki cocktail; feel free to play around with the gin ratio to get the flavor you want. Some recipes call for as little as ½ oz gin, but experimentation shows that the exact quantity depends on the quality of the gin. You are encouraged to experiment with the Kirsch and Sherry floats, and report back by commenting on this post. You can enjoy a Fogcutter without either, but a float will add a certain je ne sais quoi to the cocktail.

The Fogcutter

1 oz gin

2 oz silver rum

1 oz Brandy

½ oz lemon juice

1 ½ oz orange juice

½ oz Orgeat syrup

½ oz Kirsch (cherry brandy, optional, or Cream Sherry)

Shake all ingredients except the Kirsch (or Sherry) with cracked ice and strain the contents into a Collins glass 2/3 full of ice cubes. Float Kirsch (or Cream Sherry) on top (optional). Garnish with a Maraschino cherry. Prepare yourself to see the light.

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