Perfect Balance

So much of mixology is simple mathematics. Creating a drinkable cocktail is typically nothing more than reaching the right proportion of ingredients in the mixing glass (sure, the method of chilling, type and brand of spirit, and a number of other variables enter into the equation, but stay with me here).

Of course, this means you have to keep a lot of different formulae in your head if you want to have plenty of drinks in your repertoire. Fortunately, you happen across the occasional drink that achieves perfection through a perfect–and equal–balance of ingredients. The Corpse Reviver #2 is one such cocktail–equal parts gin, lemon juice, Lillet and Cointreau, with a drop or two of absinthe-type liqueur dribbled in–and the Golden Dawn is another.

This comes from Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails, and is the first drink I made after I gave up on tracking down a bottle of the elusive Marie Brizard’s Apry, and bought a bottle of the second-rate Bols apricot brandy, just so I can expand my mixing options. But I digress.

Golden DawnThe Golden Dawn is the first cocktail I can recall that calls for equal parts of five different ingredients, two of them base spirits: Calvados, gin, orange juice, apricot brandy and Cointreau (as a spoiler, a little grenadine is trickled into the finished drink). Haigh credits the United Kingdom Bartenders Guild for coming up with this mix in the 1920s. Sweet but not cloying, and layered with flavor, the Golden Dawn is a delicious–and easy-to-remember–addition to the mixological playbook.

Golden Dawn

  • 3/4 ounce Calvados (or applejack)
  • 3/4 ounce gin
  • 3/4 ounce fresh orange juice
  • 3/4 ounce Cointreau
  • 3/4 ounce apricot brandy

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a stemless cherry, and drizzle a little grenadine (don’t stir!) into the finished drink.

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5 Responses to Perfect Balance

  1. Surprisingly, PA liquor stores carry Marie Brizzard Apry. I just picked up a bottle last week, and it is superb.

    I’m not sure if you can order from PA to out-of-state, but it’s worth a try. The bottle was $21, I believe.

  2. I hadn’t tried this one from Ted’s book. I must say that I found it to be a little too sweet for even my ‘sweet tooth’ palate. I think with a squeeze of lime juice this cocktail really becomes a delight!

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