Gaze upon the words of Charles H. Baker, Jr. and be instantly transported to the high mountains of Luzon, the pre-prohibition days of New York, or to Jamaica where you’ll dine with a retired British army man named Wilson. It doesn’t matter where he takes you – it’s always interesting, and sometimes dangerous.
After reading the ingredient list for this potent drink, I decided I had no choice … I needed to find a suitable glass. I threw open my cabinets and searched through all of my glasses, but nothing would do. I was bereft of hope. Nothing I had, save a few tiki mugs, would be able to stand up to such an intense array of potions. As I was about to give up hope and grab any old glass, I noticed a candle holder sitting on the windowsill. This was it – exactly what I’d been searching for. I immediately snatched it up, delicately setting the burning vanilla candle aside. After giving it a good scrub, I popped it in the freezer. This would be my glass. It was perfect. It was wreathed with angels.
Wilson’s South Camp Road Cocktail
- 3oz gin
- 1/2oz grand marnier (or orange curacao)
- 1oz lime juice
- 1 1/2 dashes Fee’s aromatic bitters
- 1 1/2 dashes Fee’s orange bitters
- 3oz dry vermouth
- 1/2oz pastis
- 1 egg white
- 1/2tsp grenadine
- 2tsp simple syrup
- orange peel, for garnish
Shake with a plethora of ice for at least 30 seconds. Pour into a glass that may grant you a strong will. Twist the orange peel to release its oils and step off the plank.
Source: The Gentleman’s Companion Volume II: The Exotic Drinking Book, Charles H. Baker, Jr.
If I may be so bold, I would like to suggest we rename this cocktail the Snow Cloud of Deception. A quote from the receipt tells it all: “Try it yourself, but not more than two – and I mean that.”
This is one of those drinks where all of the ingredients come together to make something wholly new with only hints of the combatants that so aggressively resolved their feud in your shaker. This is not to say it’s devoid of interesting flavors… not at all.
You’re first greeted gently by the grand marnier and dry vermouth, but when the mouthful hits the back of your tongue, you’re introduced quite formally to the pastis. It’s escorted with grandeur by the two bitters and a hint of pomegranate, and the whole experience is wrapped in a package of limey goodness. Finally, your mouth is left with a mellow creaminess that beckons you to take another sip.
A Deadly Second Attempt
For my second go I bumped each of the bitters to 2 dashes and gave the aroma a jolt with some orange zest. I was pleased with both additions, though I may go with a bit less of a heavy hand on the bitters next time. These adjustments are reflected in the recipe above.
It pains me to say this, but this cocktail may just be the Long Island Iced Tea of fine drinking.