This drink was named after Raymond Hitchcock (no relation), a late-19th/early-20th century thespian and silent movie star. Cleverly, it was called the “Raymond Hitch Cocktail” and not the “Raymond Hitchcock Cocktail,” because, well, cock-cock just sounds funny. Whether or not Mr. Hitchcock had anything to do with this particular beverage is unknown; it first appeared in a 1917 cocktail guide, from which Harry Craddock lifted it for his Savoy compendium. This is a very light drink – the only alcohol comes courtesy of vermouth, which is not very strong, proof-wise. And, once again, a quality vermouth is mandatory. I strongly recommend Carpano Antica.
1 glass (2 oz.) Italian (sweet) vermouth
The juice of 1/2 an orange
1 slice of pineapple (I used about 1/4 round of pineapple, sliced about 3/4 of an inch thick)
1 dash orange bitters
Muddle the pineapple with the orange juice, and strain this into your shaker. Add the other ingredients and some ice, shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
If you make this with anything less than the Carpano or something of similar quality, I can’t vouch for it, but with a top-shelf vermouth, it’s delicious, if a little unsatisfying in the alcohol department. The juices and the vermouth blend perfectly, with the bitter tones of the vermouth balancing the sweetness of the juices, which also provide just enough tartness to keep the drink from becoming too sweet. The overall flavor palate is not surprising – it tastes pretty much like vermouth with orange and pineapple juices. I really want to give this five livers, and on taste alone it probably deserves it, but it’s a fair amount of work for a drink you’d have to have three or four of to get any kind of a buzz. Let’s call it a very strong four livers. And if you’re still on the fence about stepping up your vermouth game, feel free to make two of these, one with the Antica and one with some lesser brand like Martini & Rossi. I guarantee you’ll then see the wisdom in high-end vermouth.