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Garnish

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Dunhill

Dunhill

I usually don't like to drink the same thing every night, preferring to try out new recipes whenever I can. But sometimes I get on little kicks where I'm only craving one specific cocktail. And lately it's been Martinis with Castelvetrano olives. If you like a Martini with an olive garnish, you have to try these - they're bright green, crisp, and perfectly oily. Way better than the usual pimento-stuffed green olives. You can find them in a jar at most supermarkets, although my favorites are the ones from my grocery store olive bar, which tend to be crisper. In a recipe where the garnish has a huge influence on overall flavor, they're a serious upgrade.

Dunhill

My love for these olives got me wondering what other drinks are out there that use an olive garnish. It's not something you see too often. It seems like as soon as you start introducing much sweetness into a cocktail an olive would no longer work. But I promptly found a cocktail that completely refuted that assumption: the Dunhill. It's sort of a cross between a Martini and a Negroni. As it's made with gin, sherry, and dry vermouth, its olive garnish didn't seem too off-base, but it also contains a bit of orange curaçao and an absinthe wash. Absinthe and olives sounded a bit crazy to me. Just crazy enough to work, maybe?

Dunhill

Indeed it is. Somehow the hint of anise isn't the least bit out of place, and the sweetish but oily Lustau East India Solera sherry is an unexpected but perfect pairing for olives. The result is, as Chad Parkhill writes in an article on under-appreciated cocktails, "a wonderful paradox of a drink: one that manages to be simultaneously sweet and savory, rich and lean, nutty and herbaceous." This description is dead on. The Dunhill is a drink unlike any other I've had - in a good way.

Dunhill

History: The Dunhill first appears as the Dunhill's Special in the 1925 book Drinks - Long and Short by Nina Toye and A. H. Adair. This is the first time I've encountered this book. It contains recipes for cocktails served by Adair at Hatchett's Bar in Leicester Square in London. The Dunhill's Special was later included in classic cocktail recipe books like The World's Drinks and How to Mix Them and The Savoy Cocktail Book. I'm not sure when the drink became simply the Dunhill. It's certainly special in my book.

Dunhill

1 oz. gin (I used Conniption Navy Strength)
1 oz. Lustau East India Solera Sherry
1 oz. dry vermouth
1/4 oz. dry curaçao
Absinthe rinse (I used Herbsaint)

Combine gin, sherry, vermouth, and curaçao in a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled. Rinse a rocks glass with absinthe and add one large ice cube. Strain the drink into the prepared glass and garnish with olives or a lemon twist.

Recipe adapted from Punch.

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