Moral Turpitude – a drink with an attitude problem.
Since we’re over all that reduced alcohol nonsense (honestly I really don’t know what came over me there) and since we’ve been discussing aviation, I think we need to have a little talk about moral turpitude. Wha? Those who have taken a flight to the USA in the past might fondly remember the (now sadly extinct) green card that had to be filled in on the plane.
It was a magnificently pointless exercise. For example: question C – are you a spy? How many answers are there to that question really? I always wanted to tick “yes” and scribble “but not a very good one” next to it but Mrs Proof wouldn’t let me. Probably just as well. But question B is by far my favourite – how many Americans, let alone foreign visitors, have ever heard of a “crime of moral turpitude”. On top of this you have to declare your ‘tude before departure but they only tell you about it once you’re halfway across the Atlantic. Genius stuff this. But hang on, moral turpitude? That sounds like a name for a cocktail to me! And starting with the name is always the best way to go in my book. What should be in it? Some European stuff and some American stuff would be a good starting point – a veritable transatlantic melting pot of booze. In my experience simply taking a bunch of your favourite ingredients and mixing them together rarely works but in this happy case I think it has. To be honest it took a lot of tinkering with but I think it was worth the effort. The Moral Turpitude is a stirred whiskey drink that plys a route somewhere between the Manhattan and the Negroni. It’s a grown-up drink which demands to be treated with some respect and is certainly not for the faint of heart. I left the balance a touch on the bitter side, moderated ever so slightly with an essential spoonful of that king of the orange liqueurs – Grand Marnier. Picking an alternate amaro to the Nonino can be an interesting exercise (Montenegro works well) but the Punt e Mes is the only vermouth you should use as all others lack the crucial bitter element. Try another bourbon if you must but be warned; in my opinion only the kickin’ chicken has what it takes to stand its ground in this mix.
1.5oz Wild Turkey 101 bourbon.
0.75oz Amaro Nonino.
0.5oz Punt e Mes vermouth.
1 teaspoon (5ml) Grand Marnier.
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters.
Stir with ice and strain into a DOF glass containing an iceberg of clear ice.
Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.
Toast the mystery bureaucrat who came up with this gem of in-flight entertainment.