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Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Olympic Cocktail: is it a medal winner?

The Savoy Cocktail Book (1930) continues to be a treasure trove of interesting cocktails, but who knew that The Savoy contained an Olympic Cocktail? Surfing the internet cocktail stream recently turned up a 2010 version of the Olympic by Drew Levinson that includes ingredients updated for the twenty-first century. Many of these ingredients are not available in Utah, so this post will present Harry Craddock’s original recipe using ingredients that you may have in your bar at home. You might want to give this cocktail a try while you're watching the USA/ Canada Gold Medal Hockey game this afternoon!

The original recipe has only three ingredients: orange juice, Brandy, and Curaçao. When Blue Curaçao is not specified, Orange Curaçao (clear in color, and not available in Utah) is usually intended. The Brandy is up to you, anything up to and including fine Cognac will work, but if you improve the Brandy you should replace the Blue Curaçao with a quality orange liqueur, perhaps Cointreau or better. Using Blue Curaçao will impart a peculiar aqua-marine color to the drink (it was hard to find a glass to make this one look good), but the taste will be closer to the original Savoy cocktail. If you can’t get past the color, though, switch to Cointreau, which is clear and will result in a cocktail that is about the color of pineapple juice. The orange juice is problematic: if you’re too lazy to squeeze your own (like some people), then the cocktail may be a little sweet. This is easily fixed with some bitters, in this case a dash of Regans’ Orange Bitters was added to balance the drink by toning down the sweetness and adding a little complexity.

Olympic Cocktail

1 oz Brandy

1 oz Curaçao (Blue if you live in Utah) or Cointreau

1 oz Orange Juice

Combine ingredients in a shaker 2/3 full of ice. Shake well while contemplating a fast luge run. Strain into a pre-chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist or Olympic gold.

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