There are many variations on the early-20th-century Astoria cocktail, itself simply a variation on the martini.
This version calls for one of several historic spirits: You can use genever, a Dutch precursor to gin with a malt wine base, or Old Tom gin, a malty style prevalent in the 19th century -- especially a barrel-aged Old Tom such as Ransom, from Oregon. If you can find a barrel-aged gin, such as Citadelle Reserve, that also would be delightful here. As for the bianco or blanc vermouth, look for Martini or Dolin.
- 2 1/2 ounces genever
- 1 ounce white vermouth
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- Twist of orange peel, for garnish
Fill a mixing glass halfway with ice. Add the genever, vermouth and bitters. Stir vigorously, then strain into a chilled cocktail (martini) glass. Garnish with the twist of orange peel.
From Spirits columnist Jason Wilson.
Tested by Jason Wilson and Michael Taylor.
Email questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.