The D.J.

This is one of those drinks that sounded so…well, potentially horrible that I just had to try it. I had an open bottle of sweet vermouth and was scanning various bartending guides looking for drinks that featured it (alas, I did not end up getting through the entire bottle in the 30 days or so I had before it went bad). I stumbled upon this one in Ted Saucier’s 1951 guide Bottoms Up. It came from the Detroit Athletic Club, and was named after D.J. Campau, some sort of prominent Detroit citizen of the time. He was, apparently, “quite a guy.”

The Recipe:

1 oz. grapefruit juice (fresh-squeezed)

1 oz. Maraschino liqueur

1 oz. Italian vermouth (Carpano Antica)

1 oz. gin

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a hazelnut.

The DJ

I had no hazelnut, but I don’t think it would make much of a difference. Looking at that ingredient list, I though, “Wow, that’s a lot of strong flavors vying against each other.” The dominant one, as it usually is, was the maraschino, but everything else worked nicely to temper the maraschino’s rough edges. The vermouth comes through pretty strong as well, and the grapefruit juice adds a nice sweet/sour effect. The gin pretty much gets lost, but serves effectively as the alcohol. Although this was a bit rough at first sip, it grows on you. Not a fantastic cocktail by any means, but much better than I expected and perfectly drinkable. 3 livers.

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