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The Washington Post

Fourth Degree

Fourth Degree 1.000

James M. Thresher for The Washington Post

Feb 4, 2009

Early martinis generally included Old Tom Gin and sweet vermouth, and then a few dashes of bitters, a simple sugar syrup and usually a smidge of sweet liqueur such as curacao, maraschino or even absinthe.

For instance, in the 1882 classic "Harry Johnson's New and Improved Bartender's Manual," the Martini Cocktail recipe called for "a dash of curacao or absinthe, if required."

This is one variation that evolved using absinthe; it calls for Plymouth gin, which is more widely available than Old Tom. Some recipes call for a mix of sweet and dry vermouth, but Spirits columnist Jason Wilson suggests sticking with a basic sweet vermouth such as Martini & Rossi. He says Angostura bitters are acceptable, but Fee Brothers Old Fashion Aromatic Bitters work even better.


Servings: 1
Ingredients
  • Ice
  • 2 ounces Plymouth gin
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 teaspoon absinthe
  • 2 dashes aromatic bitters
  • 1 twist of lemon peel, for garnish

Directions

Fill a mixing glass halfway full with ice. Add the gin, vermouth, absinthe and bitters. Stir vigorously for at least 30 seconds, then strain into a cocktail (martini) glass. Garnish with the twist of lemon peel.


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Recipe Source

Adapted from Albert Stevens Crockett's "Old Waldorf Bar Days" (Aventine, 1931).

Tested by Michael Taylor.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 139


% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 0g 0%

Saturated Fat: 0g 0%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 1mg 0%

Total Carbohydrates: 0g 0%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 0g

Protein: 0g


*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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