a saratoga patch

[by john]

cocktaileers haven't ended their honeymoon just yet with tequila and mezcal. they're reinventing classic drinks (witness the oaxacan old fashioned), they're making new ones (q.v. misty kalkofen's maximilian affair or anything coming out of mayahuel), and they're finding their favorite brands to mix with.

i've been dipping my own barspoon in, with the flux bias and ho(a)rfrost, but hadn't yet tried a tequila twist on a classic. so here's a new take on a saratoga. i forget when i was first introduced to the saratoga, but it was for one notable feature: it mixes two very different base spirits together, rye and cognac. it's kind of one of those average cocktails, better in concept than execution. i wondered if tequila's flavors could improve it:

the saratoga

equal parts: rye
italian vermouth
two dashes of bitters

the saratoga.2

1 oz rye
1 oz tequila
1/2 oz italian vermouth
3 dashes xocolatl-mole bitters

i like this better than the original. the earthy/herbal flavors of the rye and tequila play well together, whereas cognac is easily subdued by rye. plus, the x-m bitters get their voice heard in the herbal parley. it's not great, though - and it was highly dependent on ingredients. rittenhouse was too strong, punt e mes was too overpowering, and any more vermouth (dolin in the end) is too sweet.

but for now, it can serve as a patch, saving a classic drink from averageness.

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