Shake with ice and strain.
Garnish with lemon wheel or twist.
* * *
I’ve never met Dale DeGroff, but I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s done right by me on two occasions: he created The Fitzgerald; and, he was kind enough to loan it to my wife for her forthcoming book on Gin. I salute you, Mr. DeGroff.
Not long after receiving the recipe, I whipped up a batch of these beauties for company one night, and there’s no drink that I’ve made more since. Like the music of The Stone Roses, The Fitzgerald is high on my list of “how could I not have known about this sooner.”
For our experiment, The Fitzgerald succeeds on three fronts: it works beautifully with Leopold’s; it showcases what a difference bitters can make; and, it nicely ushers in the Sour family of mixed drinks. The basic Sour recipe is an easy one: 1 part sour (typically citrus juice), 1 part sweet, and 2 parts spirit. Once we dive deeper on the subject, we find that this fine lineage includes such venerable favorites as the Whiskey Sour, the Margarita, and the Gimlet.
What separates the Fitzgerald from your standard Sour is the bitters. Angostura is a natural traveling companion for lemon juice, adding depth, spice, and roundness that an ordinary Gin Sour lacks. Also, as covered in the Bitters article, Angostura and Gin were made for each other, having quite a history together.
The recipe given here differs slightly from DeGroff’s original in The Essential Cocktail. As with all drink recipes, things tend to change subtly over time. The best course of action is to try both, then make up your own and try that too.
Variations: Never one to leave well-enough alone, I confess that, at one time or another, I’ve changed every single ingredient in The Fitzgerald. Plain simple syrup has lost out to Rosemary Syrup (the house specialty) and Lemon Syrup. Every gin in the house has been dressed up in Fitzgerald finery, but the Leopold’s won hands down. Tanqueray Malacca works too – if you can find it. Our favorite full variation is Lime Juice, Rosemary Syrup, and Fee’s Aromatic Bitters along with the Leopold’s. Keeping the literary tradition alive, we called this a Somerset.
- Beretta’s Rattlesnake a cocktail with bite (sfgate.com)