Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bennett Cocktail | 31 down 244 to go

The Bennett Cocktail came from the back of the bible, so there’s no history to this from H & M to share.  However, according to Robert Vermeire’s Cocktails, How to Mix Them (1935), the Bennett was very popular in Chile and was named after a popular Chilean millionaire, businessman and landowner.

The Partner and I enjoyed this one as an aperitif one night when he had to work quite late.  We were both starving, but dinner was warm and ready to go whenever we were.  As soon as I got the text that he was on a homeward-bound train I started icing the glasses.  This cocktail would be a delicious delay of gratification.  And delicious it was.  The tart astringency of the gin, lime and bitters was smoothed out by the simple syrup.   After the first couple sips, I found myself thinking of bubble gum.  I know that might make some of you wince, but note my choice of words here.  I won’t say it tasted like bubble gum.  It didn’t.  However, as I sipped, I did think of it.  And this was not an offensive thing.

After the first round, The Partner, who I think is officially Patience personified with this project, did what has happened enough times now that I can call it a trend.  He asked if his next round could be “one of your fantastic Manhattans.”  Hey, blog mission accomplished, right?  At least he’s not defaulting to Kettel anymore.   But after the requisite lecture on the problem with “these classic cocktails”, and I agreed to make him a Manhattan to accompany my second Bennett, he rather quickly and willingly decided to join me.  Then, giving his imprimatur, “This one’s nice.  I’d do it again.  It’s a keeper.” 
Ah, a toast to expanding horizons!

Bennett Cocktail
2 oz. gin
½ oz. lime juice
½ tsp. simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Shake with cracked ice and serve in chilled cocktail glasses.  Garnish with a lime squeeze.

(BTW, skulking around the Web looking for history about the bev I found several recipes that called for sugar instead of simple syrup.  I’d advise against such pinch-hitting.  Beyond mere sweetness, syrup adds a smoothness and dimensionality to a cocktail that sugar does not.  Sugar is just sweet and will make a bev sandy if not held in solution.  Take the few minutes needed to make simple syrup.  Then it’s on hand for such cocktails.  Plus, it keeps for ever.) 

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