Another from the Savoy Cocktail Book, the Moonshine Cocktail is about as simple as it gets, and also about as tasty. I can’t find any history on this drink, so perhaps it was a Harry Craddock original…but who knows? And who cares? Let’s just get to the recipe.
1.5 oz. gin
1 oz. dry vermouth
.5 oz maraschino liqueur
Stir vigorously with ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Craddock also called for a drop of absinthe bitters – but his recipe is for six people! I thought about using absinthe instead of absinthe bitters, but how would I do 1/6 of a drop? So I skipped it, and probably for the better.
I’ve written before about maraschino, which is an essential element of a well-stocked bar, but can also easily overpower a drink. It has an earthy bittersweet taste to it, and taken straight is not at all pleasant. The Moonshine Cocktail has the remarkable end result of tasting almost entirely of maraschino, but ameliorating the elements that make the liqueur undrinkable on its own. In other words, it takes one of the most interesting and vital of all liqueurs and makes it entirely and wholly palatable. Which is cool. Five livers.