As the story goes, this drink was created in 1920’s Paris at Harry’s New York Bar. Or it was created in New Orleans in the 19th century. Wherever it was created, it remains a classic and the mainstay of most bartenders. The variations are endless with proportions of ingredients varying from 2:1:1 to 1:1:1 or any other combination based on preference and quality of ingredients. This is no place to attempt a lesser quality spirit or orange liquor. The spirit ranges from cognac in the classic French version to brandy in the English version to the latest that is made with bourbon. The recipe below is for a classic French version using cognac and the 1:1:1 mix. The smoothness of Bache-Gabrielsen VSOP is a great choice for this cocktail. As always when making cocktails, place the martini glass in the freezer while preparing the drink. It is the small touch that takes a martini from good to great.
1 ounce cognac, Bache-Gabrielsen VSOP
1 ounce Cointreau
1 ounce lemon juice
Lemon peel strip for garnish
Place all ingredients except the lemon peel in a shaker and add 3-4 ice cubes (any more will water down the drink). Shake for 30 seconds. Pour into chilled martini glass.
Twist lemon peel over martini glass to release oils. Drop into glass and serve.
If you prefer a sweeter drink, rim the glass in lemon sugar prior to filling.