Colony Room Cocktail

from The Craft of the Cocktail

  • dash Ricard
  • 2 ounces Gin
  • 2 dashes Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters

Season a chilled martini glass by dashing it with Ricard and coating the inside, then pour out the excess. Chill the gin, vermouth, and bitters by stirring with ice. Strain into the prepared martini glass. Garnish with wit or sarcasm, whichever comes easier; if these are unavailable, strike a pose and garnish with attitude.

The Colony Room Club in London is known for many things, but cocktails is not one of them. As longtime member Roddy Ashworth once put it: "If a member asks for a PiƱa Colada, he is likely to be served with little more than raised eyebrows and a large vodka and tonic." In 1995, while visiting London to judge a bartending contest, I ended up at the Colony Room, where I was surprised to discover that the most complex cocktail available was a screwdriver (although to get one, I had to ask for a large vodka and orange). Faced with the prospect of drinking vodka and orange all night, I convinced proprietor Michael Wojas to allow me to get behind the bar and fashion my own special mix. The available ingredients were limited, but I did manage to invent a drink worthy of the club's name. Here's the recipe.