Here at the Along the Gulfshore blog we like to think of ourselves as professional cultural ambassadors. In reality that means we are enthusiasts at a lot of things—fashion, dining, exploration. My recent passion: amateur mixology. While local restaurants are beginning to bring the classic cocktail craze to Southwest Florida, it isn’t happening fast enough for those of us who live by the spirits column in Esquire or read about bars making their own bitters in Brooklyn.
So occasionally, we’ll recommend a new drink we’ve discovered, either out on the town—do try the Negroni at Osteria Tulia when you get a chance—or from our own bar cabinet.
Today’s drink—the Old Pal. This started out with my attempts to recreate that fantastic Negroni from Tulia. But when I realized I only had dry vermouth in my liquor cabinet and way more bourbon than gin, it was time to recalibrate.
The Old Pal is sort of like Manhattan, though a little less sweet. (If you sub the dry vermouth for sweet, then you get a Boulevardier, which hews more closely still to the Manhattan.) With a wonderful red hue, its spectacularly bitter bite reminds you with each sip that this isn’t a Cosmopolitan.
It’s devilishly simple: Mix bourbon, Campari and dry vermouth in equal parts, shake and pour, either over ice or up, depending on your preference.
It’s a great cocktail for the few cool nights we are still likely to have this spring and to impress your more mixology-influenced guests.